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Interviewing celebrities, breaking national stories, blogging daily, and offering candid commentary on pop culture is just a small sample of what he does. Ralphie Aversa is the relentless, tireless, non-stop-always-go host and executive producer of “The Ralphie Radio Show.” Check out his links above, and his blog below - and thanks for swinging through!


EXCLUSIVE: Jeremih's Learning Experience

R&B newcomer Jeremih learned an important lesson on his first day of touring: sometimes, you need to roll with the punches.

“The keyboard should’ve been here,” he explained while backstage at Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain. “It’s on its way; it was 15 pounds over capacity for the plane limit.”

But at least the singer himself made it. Jeremih flew to Scranton from El Paso, TX – touching down in NEPA around 4:30. He quickly drove to the venue, and snuck in a quick sound check before doors were opened to the public. I spoke with him just past 6 p.m., approximately 40 minutes later he hit the stage to croon for 15 minutes, ending with the up-tempo version of his Top 10 hit, “Birthday Sex.”

But if you’re headed to another stop on the America’s Most Wanted Music Festival, don’t assume that you’ll hear that particular cut.

“It all depends on what people are really feelin’,” said Jeremih. “It was up to me, I’d perform both of ‘em.”

After consulting with myself and Kidd Kraddick In The Morning producer Adam, Jeremih and his manager decided on the up-tempo remix, as that is the version heard on 97 BHT.

Jeremih isn’t your average R&B singer. Born Jeremih Felton in Chicago, the singer entered the University of Illinois at age 17. The early entry to college forced Felton to grow up quickly, and he would soon learn a lot about himself and his surroundings.

“I ended up getting a hold of some IDs,” revealed Jeremih, who blamed his downfall in part on living away from home in a co-ed dorm. “Long story short, I’m the youngest kid in there, but the oldest dude in there.”

The singer soon found himself with a revoked license. But Jeremih credits that experience with helping his career: during that two year period, he was forced to sit home and work on his craft. Jeremih transferred to Columbia College Chicago. He left a semester short of a degree to pursue his career, but plans on finishing at some point.

“Education is key,” said Jeremih. “It got me this far.”


EXCLUSIVE: Soulja Boy Tell 'Em To Collab W/ Drake, Tweak Live Set

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most tech-savvy artist of our generation is using all of his gadgets while on tour this summer to continue creating, producing, and finishing projects.

“I got the studio bus actually on the road, the whole tour,” explained Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em. “So I’m recording my third album, I was tellin’ ya about, The DeAndre Way, it drops in November. I’m recording my album while we’re on tour. So ya’ll can look out for the Soulja Boy/Drake collaboration.”

I sat down with Soulja during Lil Wayne’s set on the opening night of the America’s Most Wanted Music Festival. The summer long tour features Weezy and his Young Money crew, Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy and S.O.D.M.G., Drake, and Jeremih. Pleasure P, formerly of Pretty Ricky, also made it on to the bill.

Drake, who just signed a deal with Universal Records that affords him a $2 million advance, called Soulja, “the smartest artist of our generation, period,” on The Ralphie Radio Show in June. It seems the respect is mutual.

“Drake is a real dude. Most rappers, they don’t like to give the other rappers props,” Soulja Boy said. “He showed me my respect. Drake is a good artist.”

At least when it comes to artistry, it seems most of the rappers on the bill are taking cues from the headliner. Even after the first show, Soulja Boy already found himself inspired and pushed by Weezy.

“I just got through watching Wayne’s show. I’m about to go back to the drawing board,” revealed Soulja. “I feel like, my next show, I just gotta go back and critique everything a little bit, but we straight though.”

However, I’m sure one part of the performance that will not change is the end. The crowd inside Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain exploded when Soulja dropped “Turn My Swag On.” The first few rows of the venue near came to a boil soon after – when the 19 year-old began tossing out $100 bills in to the crowd. MTV News reporter Sway Calloway estimated that Soulja gave back atleast $5,000 to the crowd. But for the Chicago-born rapper, the money itself wasn’t much of a driving factor behind the move.

“I flash back in my head to when I was 15, 14 years -old, just wanted to become a rap star,” he said. “For me to make it, and to become a millionaire, and for my dreams to come true, all that just be flashing through my head.”


EXCLUSIVE: Weezy F. Bulletproof

Remember our friend Brenda? She is the one who grabbed this footage of Lil Wayne and his crew fighting over a BB gun Sunday at their hotel. On Monday night after the show, Brenda met Weezy, although apparently the BB gun wars hadn't ceased.

As you can see, Wayne's wearing a bulletproof vest and goggles. With his automatic BB gun in tow, he was plotting to target Young Money's Mack Maine, again. However, with the amount of fans around the tour bus, and cameras everywhere, Wayne didn't want to give the wrong impression to anyone (this BB gun, which I have not seen, allegedly looks like a machine gun).

Weezy F. wore the vest for the duration of Brenda's time on the tour bus, which she says was a little over an hour.


EXCLUSIVE: Amber Rose (Kanye's Girl?) Backstage at Weezy's Show

South Philly-born Amber Rose showed up at opening night of the America's Most Wanted Music Festival. The model and former exotic dancer has appeared in videos and print campaigns with Young Jeezy and Kanye West, and has been romantically linked to West as well.

Rose recently appeared with West in a Louis Vuitton ad.

EXCLUSIVE: Lil Wayne's Hotel Tussle

Lil Wayne and the rest of his Young Money crew arrived in Scranton on Sunday, checking in to the Radisson before heading to Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain for a rehearsal. Earlier in the day, my friend Brenda shot the following footage. Apparently Lil Wayne owns an automatic bb gun, and was firing it (or atleast attempting to) at Mack Maine. Drake and a few other bystanders watched as Weezy and his crew wrestled each other over the gun.

Wayne eventually emerged victorious, quickly dashing in to the elevator to escape his crew.

Backstage Notes From Opening Night of The America's Most Wanted Music Festival

- It’s the first tour of any kind for newcomer Jeremih. The Chicago-native currently owns a Top 10 hit in “Birthday Sex.” Talk about being thrown in to the fire of a hectic schedule: while all of the other acts on the bill arrived in Scranton on Sunday, Jeremih touched down in Avoca around 4:30 on Monday. Less than two hours later, he kicked off the show with a quick set of songs from his self-titled, debut LP.

As per the suggestion of myself and Kidd Kraddick In The Morning producer Adam, he ended with the up-tempo version of “Birthday Sex.”

- National media descended again on Northeastern PA for the kickoff of Lil Wayne’s summer tour, and a familiar face showed up in the crowd. I had the pleasure of watching Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em’s set on stage left with not only Scranton’s DJ Woogie, but also MTV News reporter Sway Calloway. In March of 2008, I met Sway at Whistles in downtown Scranton, where he hosted an MTV Choose or Lose event with President Barack Obama.

In our interview, Calloway mentioned how impressed he was with the maturity of hip-hop (at the time, Young Jeezy performed behind us with a six piece band). He also acknowledged an on-stage stunt by Soulja Boy. Calloway has seen the “cash gimmick” many times (hip-hop artists throwing out money to the crowd), but he noted that usually the money is either dollar bills or fake. However, the “Crank That” rapper was tossing out genuine Benjamin Franklin’s in to the stands. Calloway estimated that in those short few minutes, Soulja easily tossed about $5,000 back to the fans.

- Speaking of Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, his night ended on a bit of a down note. Soulja joined Pleasure P (formerly of Pretty Ricky), Sway, Jeezy, and Jeremih on the VIP Deck at stage left to watch Lil Wayne’s performance. During the show, Arab – who is one of the rappers in Soulja Boy’s “S.O.D.M.G.” stable of artists, accidentally spilled a drink on Soulja’s white jeans. When I hopped on board his tour bus, Soulja’s entourage was trying to figure out how they could get to a washing machine: the rapper wanted to wear the jeans to Cancun, where he will be celebrating his 19th birthday.

Despite the misfortunate clothing accident, Soulja was more than happy to speak with me. 97 BHT played “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” more times than any other radio station in Northeastern PA. And apparently, the rapper is keeping tabs on me.

“Ralphie man, I see you blowin’ up, you grindin’ here in Scranton huh?” said Soulja Boy immediately when I walked on to the bus. “I see you on Twitter sendin’ out links and sh**. That’s what’s up man.”

Apparently you never know who is reading what you write on the Internet. But, this didn’t come as a complete shock – since we first met last February, Soulja Boy has uploaded two of my interviews to his YouTube channel – with cumulative views over 200,000.

Soulja is currently working on two new LPs, another solo project with a November release date, and a S.O.D.M.G. album that will drop in December. He’s traveling with a second tour bus that is equipped with a recording studio, so he can finish the projects on the road.

- How tight was security backstage at Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain? I spoke with two venue employees, who each were there over 10 years. Both said that they’ve never seen the backstage area on lockdown as much as Monday night’s show.



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Dana from Clarks Summit though she won a 4-pack of lawn seats to The America's Most Wanted Music Festival for being 97 BHT's Human Billboard... little did she know...

Check out video of Dana at Sneaker King!

More info on The America's Most Wanted Music Festival here.


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07.22.09 : Colby O'Donis - I Wanna Touch You

07.21.09 : The All-American Rejects - I Wanna

BHT-V: 2 Sneakers, 2 Tickets, 2nd Row - Lil Wayne/Soulja Boy Tell 'Em

97 BHT listeners ran frantically through Sneaker King in Wilkes-Barre in search of an autographed Yums Soulja Boy Tell 'Em Sneaker. The winner would be awarded the second sneaker, along with 2nd row tickets to check out The America's Most Wanted Music Festival starring Lil Wayne & Soulja Boy Tell 'Em. Thanks to The Ralphie Radio Show & 97 BHT!