In the early 1990’s Star Torain won over the morning-drive mind-share of New York listeners with his brash, sarcastic and slick radio show, The Star & Buc Wild Show, on hip-hop powerhouse Hot 97. The duo drew a loyal following for their fearless interviewing style, skewering celebrities like A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes and Nas. Their popularity prompted MTV to sign the pair on to host its Beat Suite program, giving them a chance to expand their creative templates within a visual medium.
Star and his co-host, Timothy Joseph aka Bucwild, quickly found their way to the top of MTV’s Beat Suite roster. MTV’s exposure led to a deal with Emmis Broadcasting to host their show on their flagship radio station, Hot 97 in New York City. Star and Bucwild became a household name, capturing the attention of millions of listeners and challenging radio legend Howard Stern’s iron-clad hold on ratings.
During their three years on air the Star & Buc Wild Show gained a reputation for delivering social commentary, humor and pop culture rants that were distinctly Star and Bucwild. Their ingenuity and success drew the attention of Source Magazine publisher David Mays, who offered them a weekly column called “Reality Check,” which proved to be an enormously popular franchise within the publication.
The column’s success was a major factor in Star’s rise to prominence and allowed him to forge an alliance with fellow radio personality and producer, DJ Envy. Envy was a former sidekick of Miss Jones and also worked with Funkmaster Flex while at Power 105. Star and Envy often engaged in scathing rants against one another as well as other local hip-hop personalities.
A petition has been passed around calling for Star to be fired from Hot 97. I spoke with Tracy about the petition and she said she understood why people were upset but felt that most of the criticism was coming from outside the NY area and that people were reacting to Internet rumors. She also emphasized that Star did not spend his entire shift bashing or making fun of Aaliyah. She pointed out that he had spent 3 hours taking dedications and condolences from listeners who were devastated by her death.
She continued to point out that while the comments were disgusting it was not a firing offense and that Star was not personally bashing Aaliyah or any of her family members. She also emphasized that she feels that many people outside of the NY area have an emotional reaction to everything that goes on in Hip Hop and that it is not fair for cats to rush local DJ’s like Star or others who were critical of 2Pac or Aaliyah. She also argued that Star makes Emmis Broadcasting crazy money and if they were to get rid of him that would be a bad thing for them. star bucwild