By Dylan Deprey
Sometimes, all it takes is fate to put that one specific person in life’s path to completely alter the future.
As Billboard Burn’Em hopped off an eight-year prison sentence, he had a chance to revitalize his rap career and discredit the infamous America’s Most Wanted montage, which partially collapsed his first run as an artist.
Out of all the talent in the city, local DJ and online radio host, OG Gotti was the first person to reach out.
The two broke unspoken barriers, as the North Side DJ and South Side rapper collaborated on Burn’Em’s late-2019 “Milwaukee’s Most Wanted” mixtape. Between OG Gotti’s deep history in Milwaukee rap, and Burn’Em’s passion to give back to the community, they built a relationship meant for the airwaves.
“The Burn’Em and The OG in The Morning” show takes over 102.5 FM The Pulse weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The show is about bringing together local artists from across Milwaukee and adding some insight and education over the air. Whether it’s promoting artists, putting people in touch with local organizations or talking about issues, it’s ultimately about informing the people that might miss out on vital information.
“Some of these people are only getting their news on social media,” Burn’Em said. “As an artist and as a radio personality, all of us have responsibilities, but when you’ve got a platform to showcase it, I think it’s irresponsible to not get involved.”
They address issues from a journalistic standpoint, but also add anecdotes from their own perspective, to give listeners an all-around assessment over the air. Whether they are talking fatherhood or living in the hood, they give local listeners a new outlet from different perspectives.
“I’m humbled to have this opportunity. I’ve got a second chance on life,” Burn’Em said. “If I can do this as an eight-time felon, it gets rid of half of everybody else’s’ excuses.”
While the two don’t always meet eye-to-eye on some issues, the discourse opens relatable conversations for different types of people in different struggles.
OG Gotti has worked most of his DJ career pushing local music through online radio stations like HittinHard and UpTown Radio.
“I try to help anybody that’s willing to listen because I’ve dealt with business deals, and the music industry,” Gotti said.
He said his mission was to promote local music alongside mainstream bangers, while also mixing in classic cuts to educate younger fans.
Whether it’s the newest hit from Chicken P or a Public Enemy throwback, OG Gotti does not stick to a specific 15-song set list like other mainstream radio stations.
“There are very few DJ’s in this city that really give the whole city a chance,” Burn’Em said. “We play majority of industry, but we throw the locals in and it’s cool because artists like C-Mil$ will come on right after Drake, and its mixed in.”’
Along with playing local artists, Burn’Em said another goal was to create a collaborative project with local artists and producers from all over the city.
“Milwaukee has always been about segregation. The South Side looks a certain way, the North Side looks a certain way, there’s the West Side and then two different parts of the East Side. It’s damn near five different cities,” he said.
As much as the local Hip-Hop community wants to deny it, for the amount of talent Milwaukee has, the lack of unity sets it apart from cities like Atlanta or LA. He hopes that as an artist and radio personality, he can help bridge local talent.
“It’s all about bringing people together and really getting people to work with each other that wouldn’t normally work with each other. You stay on Silver Spring, and you’re in Cudahy, but we think you’ll sound good together,” Burn’Em said.
Between running multiple businesses, side hustles and working in the local music industry, the duo strives to see their city succeed.
“Genuinely, I want to see everybody shine, whether it’s me or not, I want to see the next dude blow up from Milwaukee,” Burn’Em said.
Tune in to 102.5 FM, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to listen to “Burn’Em and The OG in the Morning”
For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/Burnem-the-OG-In-The-Morning-103283564736709/