Everything seems to be falling in place for Phoenix hip-hop artist Willy Northpole: he's signed to an imprint on a major label (Island Def Jam's Disturbing Tha Peace, owned by Ludacris), his first album, Tha Connect, hit stores to favorable feedback on June 23, and his first video from the album "#1 Side Chick," has been getting play on MTV Jams. But there's one major snag in the success story so far: the BET channel is refusing to air the video.
Northpole's manager, Tiffany Johnson, says BET didn't like how the video portrays a man in a relationship with two women. Johnson says there's no anger in Northpole's camp toward BET, but the channel's decision "Kind of hurt, because they've shown a lot worse," she says. "I don't know how they can say we're portraying something unwholesome, because the video ends with the man marrying one of the women. I feel our video is tasteful. We were kind of offended. My first thought was 'Every Girl in the World' can get played, and we can't?"
(The video for Lil Wayne's "Every Girl" features the rapper carousing with a horde of scantily-clad women, and the song lyrics include about 18 occurrences of the F-word.)
Johnson says she and Northpole are trying to negotiate with BET to play "#1 Side Chick." In the meantime, Northpole's asking fans on his Twitter page to make their voices heard in BET's forum and ask that the video be played. Local artists and fans at Valley hip-hop forum Arizonabeats.com have also spoken out about the ban in their forum.
As of this writing, we've been unable to reach anybody at BET for comment. We'll update this post if and when we do.