Troi Torain Busted, Atlas Shrugs

You may have heard that a loudmouthed New York City DJ named Star, aka Troi Torain, has been arrested for threatening to attack a rival DJ’s family, and has been fired from his morning slot at Power 105.1.

A lot of people dislike Star, who definitely pursues fame by pushing the boundaries of decency, and the radio personality may be in serious trouble now that he’s crossed the line of legality with his offensive comments about the 4-year-old daughter of Hot 97’s DJ Envy.

Since I have been listening to Star every morning while I drive to work, I have a different perspective to offer. I can’t deny that he went way too far in his latest comments about Envy’s daughter. Beyond that, though, I’m bristling to hear Star described as a moronic and brainless shock jock. Star is obnoxious and frequently wrong, but he’s smart-obnoxious, not dumb-obnoxious. His morning show covers controversial news and eschews the bland celebrity mush that feeds most radio talk shows. He has openly championed the work of author Ayn Rand, his favorite writer, and has probably gotten more inner-city kids to visit the library than ten bookmobiles ever will.

His obsession with Ayn Rand gets so much coverage on his show, in fact, that I’m guessing he fashions himself a modern-day Howard Roark, and if you read the book I’m referring to you’ll remember that Howard Roark didn’t get along very well with people either.

Whether covering hip-hop news or global events, this guy has something to say, and I am going to be very sorry, come Monday morning, to have no choice but to listen to Miss Jones talking about Beyonce’s clothes on Hot 97 or the god-awful Opie and Anthony, or whoever they are and whatever the hell they talk about, as I sit in traffic on the Grand Central Parkway.

Star will have to fight this one out in court (and in the media, where he clearly knows his way around — he’s already calling himself “the new Lenny Bruce”, which is perhaps a stretch). I understand why Power 105.1 (which puts on excellent concerts, by the way) had to fire his loudmouth ass. But I’d like to appeal to whichever judge eventually handles this case to take into consideration the fact that nobody who listened to Star’s offensive comments on the morning of May 3 could have truly believed that he would harm DJ Envy’s daughter. The judge will prove himself wise by eliciting a sincere apology to DJ Envy from Star, and letting the matter end there. As for Star, I’m sure we’ll be hearing from him again, and that’s okay with me.

18 Responses

  1. tangentialI liked Lenny Bruce

    I liked Lenny Bruce better than Ayn Rand.

    Y’know, y’might not think so, but as far as talk radio, Garrison Keillor’s MPR show is hilarious.

  2. Whether you read Randor make
    Whether you read Rand

    or make literary references, you can still be moronic. And I think that’s exactly how I would describe someone who would make references to sexually assaulting a 4 year old child. Whether anyone “truly believed that he would harm” or not. Shock jock, covering world events, etc. … everyone has a right to say what they want, but they also should be responsible and expect to face the repercussions of the words they choose.

  3. The Power of CelebrityI’m
    The Power of Celebrity

    I’m saddened to learn that there are people who’d stand up for anyone stupid enough to publicly claim that they’d like to assualt an enemies daughter, “R. Kelly style” or otherwise. To let that sort of thing go with an apology would be an injustice to the little girl and her parents. I’m always disappointed when fans are willing to accept disgusting behavior, much less making excuses for it.

  4. But should Star be made to
    But should Star be made to wear a scarlet letter and forget about his radio career because of an isolated instance of stupidity? I don’t think Star’s comments should merit anything more than the proverbial slap on the wrist Levi suggests — this is already enough of an embarrassment that the crime is, in a sense, the punishment. Any further legal hurdles will only serve to keep him off the air and leave fewer intelligent options to NYC listeners.

    My interest is only sympathetic, of course; I live in San Francisco. Intelligent, Liberal talk radio up the wazoo.

  5. Well I didn’t realize scarlet
    Well I didn’t realize scarlet As were readily available these days, but that’s an interesting suggestion. What would the A stand for in this case, though? Hmmm. Maybe a dunce cap or perhaps a hairshirt? So many possibilities, really. I think certain legal actions wouldn’t be unwarranted, but that’s not really my call to make. And in the end … it seems that Torain does a pretty good job at hindering his own career all by himself, sensationalistic obnoxious publicity notwithstanding. It doesn’t seem that this is just an abnormal isolated incidence of stupidity. I think, though, this type of behavior should draw a bit more than just a “Tsk, tsk, that Troi Torain — what a scamp! He reads Rand, by god!” I had a friend in college who was obsessed with Rand — and we all pretty much fired her, too.

    And in the end, I think NYC radio listeners get what they ask for.

  6. perceptionWhen I mentioned on

    When I mentioned on this site that I liked Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged, I was mobbed like Rush Limbaugh at an inner-city methodone clinic. And I’m a liberal; I just like the story in Atlas Shrugged because it contains mystery and romance. Critics of Atlas Shrugged say that Rand’s philosophy sides with big business against the “little people.” I haven’t read The Fountainhead but the summary on Wikipedia (The new Cliff’s Notes?) seems to indicate a nobler angle.

    As for the charges against Torain, I have not heard what he said, but I believe I would want to press charges too, if someone made public threats against a member of my family.

  7. Well, Caryn, I agree that
    Well, Caryn, I agree that Torain has to face the consequences of his actions. There’s no argument about that. I am suggesting that he must deliver a sincere apology. And he already got fired from a high-paying job, which I’m sure is causing him a lot of pain and regret.

    Still, my point is that I don’t believe DJ Envy seriously believed his daughter was in danger. It seems he’s caught his opponent in a trap (making illegal threats on the radio) and is exploiting the situation to the max. Just as it’s incredibly offensive and wrong for Star to bring a 4-year-old girl into an ugly radio debate, it seems wrong for Envy to be taking the fight to the same level by calling the police in on the case, when it’s really quite clear that Star was just being an asshole in public.

  8. Well, I’m sorry to hear you
    Well, I’m sorry to hear you feel that way, but I still feel the way I feel. I hope you know I am not awed by the power of celebrity here (I couldn’t care less about anybody’s fame). I’m upset by the fact that I spend 35 minutes driving to work every morning and the only two talk radio hosts I like are suddenly both gone — David Lee Roth just got fired from 92.3 for low ratings (they could have given the guy a couple of months to find his style) and now Star’s gone too. My motivation here is purely selfish, which Star as a Rand acolyte would surely approve of.

  9. I agree with you on Garrison
    I agree with you on Garrison Keillor. He’s great.

  10. Well, Asher, you’re wrong of
    Well, Asher, you’re wrong of course. I think everyone has a right to be an asshole (obviously most exercise the right very liberally), but we don’t have to give them a free pass to do so because they happen to love themselves some Ayn Rand, mmmhm. And somehow I don’t even CARE if “DJ Envy” thought his family was in danger (your honor, speculation), I think there are certain lines that need to be kept in tact. While I know you’re wanting to be controversial and concerned for your morning listening habits (which I’m sure we’re all pulling for you, naturally), I think it’s probably more offensive to compare the two … “Just as it’s incredibly offensive and wrong for Star to bring a 4-year-old girl into an ugly radio debate…”

    Yeah. Maybe we should get R. Kelly and Torain in a closet together and see how that works out. Maybe we could add Miss Jones, David Lee Roth and Garrison Keillor in there … just to make the commute more interesting. Then R. Kelly could collaborate with Snoop Dogg on a book about it and then we can read the review of the entire situation right here.

  11. But Levi, there is another
    But Levi, there is another principle involved here. I know the freedom of speech issue is touchy. I am a great believer in freedom of speech. The problem is, DJ’s can set an example for some of the more impressionable listeners, who might, in turn, say similar threatening things, and maybe some people know they are joking and some don’t…you see what I’m saying? Can you elaborate on why you think it was obviously said as a joke and the other DJ should not have felt threatened?

  12. Okay, people, maybe they
    Okay, people, maybe they should drag me away in handcuffs too just for suggesting that Torain isn’t a child-assaulting monster! I don’t know what else to say except that I know that if I had heard that particular broadcast where he made these remarks (which I didn’t) I can’t imagine that I would have thought that Torain would actually go to DJ Envy’s house and act on the dumb threat. That’s my truthful testimony, simple as that.

    Bill, to answer your question — I do think there is a tradition in hiphop of saying really offensive things about the families of your rivals. Examples:

    Jadakiss: “kill your grandmother after your mother”

    Fat Joe (beefing with 50 Cent in “My Fo Fo”): “if I don’t get you, I’ll get your …” (voice trails off here)

    50 Cent: “I don’t care if you run, I’ll spray your momma’s house”

    Is this shocking? Illegal? All I can say is that I don’t believe any rapper is actually going to kill anybody’s grandmother or kid, and I don’t think it’s happened yet. I just listen to the stuff because I like the music and the beats.

  13. So you are saying that Star’s
    So you are saying that Star’s radio show had a hip-hop format and anyone familiar with the genre should have seen thru the hype.
    Alright, Asher. I’m gonna let you off with a warning this time.

    Get that headlight fixed.

    Uncuff him, Firecracker.

    You heard me, Firecracker! Un –

    What do you mean, you’re off duty?

  14. Atlas Shrugged reads well;
    Atlas Shrugged reads well; unfortunately, because it’s hypnotically subversive. Consider two opposing world views – capitalism v. Jeffersonian agrarianism. In the latter, you plant things, nurture the environment, and self-suffice on your own veggie garden, cow, and goat. In the former, you cover the land with cement, blacken the air with industry, and pray to God that the utility companies don’t rip you off (that makes God laugh, by the way).

  15. Bill — yeah, sorry I didn’t
    Bill — yeah, sorry I didn’t make that clearer. There are two hiphop stations in NYC — Power 105 and Hot97. Star is on 105, Envy is 97. Power 105 has (well, had) Star and Buc Wild in the morning, Hot97 has Miss Jones. Miss Jones has her moments too, just for the record, but it’s all about tv entertainment and dumb topics of the day, whereas Star used to get into more controversial issues.

  16. Obsessed with Rand?That in
    Obsessed with Rand?

    That in and of itself if worthy of a prison sentence in my estimation. Maybe if he wasn’t so obsessed with Rand’s self-serving anti-altruistic romanticized portrayal of individualism (or solipsism in disguise as I see it), he’d have realized that verbally attacking and threatening someone’s 4 year old daughter is hardly the way to propogate the image of yourself as well-reasoned or intelligent individual. There’s nothing more dangerous than a smart person with misplaced intentions. However intelligent he may be Levi, his behavior is indicative of the most base sort of ignorance.

  17. There is nothing funny,
    There is nothing funny, educating, intelligent, witty, uplifting or liberating about a loud blowhard saying such vile and crude things about a child. If this is his idea of a joke, or funny, or being “edgy”, than Torain really needs some serious help. Look into that mirror creep, do you see what you like? I doubt it…..

    I shan’t support this imbecile, his show, or those who support him.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!