If you’re like me and most Bay Area natives, you’ve spent your early morning car rides listening to your “cousin” Kevin Brown and the rest of the Kevin Brown in the Morning crew on KBLX. Thanks to Kevin, Nikki Thomas, and Joe McConnell, our morning commute was full of news, laughter, and celebrity gossip. You also got the chance to sing along with R&B favorites like Luther Vandross, and the Bay’s own, Raphael Saadiq. The KBLX Morning crew definitely did become a part of many families; they were those cousins you didn’t mind hearing from at 6 o’clock in the morning.
Sadly, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, KBLX was sold to Entercom. Along with that purchase came the firing of station director and morning host of 22 years “Cousin” Kevin Brown, who has been replaced by The Steve Harvey Show as of May 8th. Evening radio personality Antoine Davis was also released from “The New KBLX” and the music has shifted away from the old school soul we’ve become accustomed to from 102.9.
The Bay Area is and has always been about local support; when one of our own is making it, we all thrive. We loved Kevin Brown because he was familiar with the Bay and we could relate to him. The Steve Harvey Show is a generic broadcast from the east coast; it fails to speak to Bay Area residents in that same direct and personal way that Kevin Brown did which makes it hard to connect with.
And let’s not pretend that Steve Harvey isn’t a problematic replacement. Sure, we loved him when he was reality checking Romeo and Bullet Head while wearing Easter Pimp suits, but his real life persona has proved controversial. His patriarchal, homo-phobic and otherwise close-minded way of viewing the world won’t exactly be a welcome addition to the Bay Area’s intelligent and discerning listeners. If you’re unfamiliar with Steve Harvey’s sentiments on these issues, please refer to the video below.
Our mornings have changed drastically. We’ll no longer be able to call in and win tickets to Yoshi’s, The Razz Room, and other homegrown venues. Our cars and homes won’t be filled with Kevin, Nikki, and Joe’s laughter as they dish out the daily Hollywood Minute.
As of right now, these changes are hard to swallow, but hopefully, our cousin hasn’t been silenced for good.