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11 Jul 2012

Keke Palmer: Says No To Pay For Play

Listed under: News

Brandi Worley

KeKe Palmer made an appearance on BET’s 106&Park yesterday to premier her new video “You Got Me.” The 18-year-old looked stunning in a white dress and tan heels. She did everything right on the show, she sounded good, appealed to the audience and did what artists before her would do: promoted her new project, a mixtape “You Got Me”. She was good. Too good. And that’s the problem.

“Keke Palmer is what’s wrong about black radio. Here’s a young girl, with the top show on Nickelodeon, four million viewers every week, great movie career, positive message, positive person and not one black radio station in the country is playing her (records),” says Paul Porter co-founder of Industry Ears and Rap Rehab. “They (the radio stations) all want money, they all want pay-for-play and she hasn’t played the game.”

Palmer’s “You Got Me” video didn’t take the typical route of half-naked, booty shaking and gyrating on an expensive car next to a rapper, the classic popping bottles, spilling liquor in the club scene, flashing expensive, rented jewelry. The actress even used her own money to fund the age appropriate visuals.

“The concept is like a presentation, beauty shots and dancing, but it’s not like a follow the story like me and this person (like each other),” she said about her video on a behind the scenes shot. “It’s not like that. It’s introducing me in a way that you’ve never seen me before. I’m excited just the way it’s going to look.”

There’s no excuse for Palmer’s records not to be played on radio. She has too many accolades, acting credits, and name recognition. Teens have been familiar with Palmer for years as the star on Nickelodeon’s True Jackson VP. She defiantly has the audience.

She started her career at the age of 9, with a small role in the movie “Barbershop 2 Back in Business” with Queen Latifah, who she later went on to star with in the move “Joyful Noise” (2012) where she did a remake of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror.” Palmer’s Nickelodeon’s resume lists her accomplishments on several acclaimed TV dramas and the television movie Emmy nominated “The Wool Cap,” which she earned an NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild nomination in the Best Leading Actress category, making her the youngest actor to ever be nominated in by the guild in a Lead Actor category.

In addition to the ten movies she’s acted in she’s also known for her breakout role in Akeelah and the Bee, Madea’s Family Reunion, and the soon to be released animated film Ice Age: Continental Drift.

But yet, with everything, all of her hard work, talent, breathtaking looks, Palmer has had a lack of support in the music industry. She was signed by Atlantic in 2007, released her debut album “So Uncool”, a record that earned positive reviews, but didn’t do well on the Billboard charts. Then in 2009 Jimmy Iovine signed her to Interscope Records, and was later dropped because she refused to sing what they wanted her to sing or be a puppet.

“She has a great voice and a great presence. She’s rejected by these labels and she’s rejected by radio. That’s why young black kids don’t have anything to see or watch,” says Porter. “To me it’s astounding. They’ll play “Stupid Hoe” by Nicki Minaj that forces the stereotypes. It’s not that they can’t have “Stupid Hoe” or bad images, but it’s got to be some balance. That’s all Keke represents is the balance in black life.”

Her “You Got Me” co-stars agree.

“The song is really great, she’s showing off her vocal abilities. Keke’s growing up and so is her voice,” says her collaboration partner, rapper Kevin McCall.

Palmer’s producer thinks she can take a route like R&B starlet Brandy, who was also a Disney product.

“Working with Keke is incredible. It’s like working with Brandy,” says Harmony her producer. “She’s an incredible vocalists, worked hard in the studio.”

NBC’s recognizing her gift. The network will play her song “We Are” from the Continental Drift’s soundtrack as the official theme song during the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Palmer will also star in Ice Age: Continental Drift as Peaches, a 19-year-old woolly mammoth one of the main protagonists in the fourth movie of the $200 million franchise. Peaches is the love interest of Ethan voiced by rapper Drake. Ice Age opens in theaters July 13.