: Funk Master Flex attends DaBaby In Concert
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A Former Hot 97 Employee Accused Funk Flex of Discrimination — Now He's Suing the Radio Station

Hot 97 and DJ Funk Flex have been hit with a discrimination lawsuit from a former station employee who claims he was fired for being white.


Apr. 1 2024, Published 5:51 p.m. ET

New York radio icon DJ Funk Flex has found himself on the receiving end of a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Hot 97 employee.

Flex has been a popular media figure for decades, securing groundbreaking interviews with rappers like Lil Kim, Offset, and Diddy. Flex's journey at Hot 97 began in the early 1990s when he joined the station as a DJ. His night show, The Funk Flex Show, became a cornerstone of New York City radio, attracting legions of loyal fans.

Throughout his tenure at Hot 97, Flex became synonymous with the station's identity, earning widespread acclaim for his interview skills and popular freestyle segment.

From up-and-coming artists to established legends, Flex provides a platform for MCs to showcase their bars in an unproduced setting. Flex’s infamous "bomb drops" and exclusive premieres became legendary among hip-hop heads, solidifying his status as a leader in the radio industry.

lil kim theo brown and funkmaster flex attend the funk flex birthday celebration
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Lil' Kim, Theo Brown, and Funkmaster Flex attend the Funk Flex Birthday Celebration.

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However, Flex has been hit with a lawsuit by a former Hot 97 executive. The suit makes scathing claims about the radio personality, who has become a star at the heritage radio station. Here is a detailed breakdown of the legal drama.

Why is Hot 97 being sued by a former employee?

In court documents obtained by The Daily Beast, a former Hot 97 employee claims that he was fired for being “too white for the job.”

Stanley Pillman III, the former VP of digital operations at the station, claims that his relationship with others at Hot 97 became sour after he accused Flex of accepting backdoor gifts from advertisers. According to Stanley, his issues with the station began in 2023 when he was allegedly told that he “did not know anything about hip-hop.”

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funk flex on stage
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DJ Funk Flex opens for Rapper Big Daddy Kane

Stanley goes on to claim that his time at Hot 97 got worse after he reported DJ Funk Flex to HR for “potential theft of company funds.” Stanley accused Flex and the senior vice president of sales of accepting under-the-table “kick-backs” for advertising deals made off the record. In August 2023, Stanley was formally let go, and his attorney argued that his firing was discriminatory.

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“We investigated, and we determined, in our opinion, that there was retaliation for protected activity,” Stanley’s lawyer said. “Here, it’s discrimination and speaking out about what we claim to be protected activities."

funkmaster flex spins at the house party
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Funkmaster Flex spins at the House Party With Funk Flex And Mack Wilds

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DJ Funk Flex’s career has been filled with drama.

DJ Funk Flex can’t seem to escape drama. In 2015, thousands of listeners signed a petition to have the radio personality fired from his job at Hot 97. The turmoil began after Flex said that he was premiering Meek Mill’s response to Drake’s “Back to Black” on his radio program. However, that never happened, and fans were enraged after Flex failed to deliver on his promise. The petition received more than 4,000 signatures as fans called for the DJ to step down.

Calls for Flex to be fired reignited a year later after Drake slammed the media icon during the New York stop on the Summer Sixteen Tour. “They telling lies on Hot 97,” Drake said. “Fire Funkmaster Flex and I’ll come and do your show.”

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