Letters To The Editor-July '98

Has College Radio Fallen Off

These letters are in response to an editorial about the state of hip hop and radio.. It's interesting to see just how bad radio is around the world when it comes to hip hop...

What up Davey,

I'm from La and I'm responding to your Radio article. I don't particularly like Power or the Beat because they give no love to Cali's underground or any underground for that matter, for example I have never heard any Freestyle Fellowship, Mystic Journeymen, or Dialated Peoples (the list goes on and on) on these stations. I think this has to do with the fact that DJ's aren't given the freedom to play what they like anymore. The best Hip-Hop show in LA, is Mike Nardone (KXLU 88.9) on Sundays from 11:00-1:00am, simply because he always plays new shit and plays a broad range of styles of hip hop. I'm not gonna say that Puffy and people like that aren't hip hop because they are, but many hip hop radio stations only play one style instead of trying to open peoples minds and expanding their horizons. Hip hop isn't one thing, it's extremely ecceltic and radio stations need to start treating it as so.

One Love,

I'm writing in response to your question about radio stations; well, i write from Spain and i must say that the rap scene is getting bigger and bigger altough only a minority like rap. Its funny for us to see how Rap is the most important music in France and when you cross the border people dont like rap very much.

i have a program on a radio station called Radio Vetusta and the program is called "Black Party Music". Its just two hours a week on saturday and we dedicate one hour to american music and another one to spanish music although spanish rap is getting bigger and better and its taking more time of our program every time. Needless to say that playing Wu tang is almost compulsory which is what everybody likes in Europe, but im always providing listeners with some West Coast that i like better.


Davey D,

There is so much that i wnt to say. Its late over here but I want to go off an a tangent. I must confess I have charted some crap on my chart to establish a rappore with a label rep. I think every one in this industry has. Your editorial had alot of strong points. I found myself saying DAMN!!! Davey Dave is right. I do agree with you.

My college station has a very low wattage so in some cases people dont come threw. Even if you try and get an artist threw they front and go to the commercail radio station because they have 50,000 watts but have never played the artists' music in the first place, some of the blame should be put on these artists (ego trippin'). Aww Man I dont even want to talk about it anymore. One thing I HAVE NEVER BEEN TAKEN OUT TO DINNER BY ANYBODY. thats a good. I still buy records, I still tape stuff off the radio ( on rare occasions when they actuaaly play someting goo) I still go to shows.

I says this to my girlfriend all the time "this world is wack". Because the mainstream audience buys into these trendy rappers and want more of, actually purchasing the product. this goes on these same people win awards on the stupid "award shows" No More

Edward Alberto

I live in the north of England and although I have followed the hip hop scene from an early age, I can't say that hip hop is properly represented on radio here.

Over the past few years, hip hop has had little or no airplay and even now, the only hip hop that is heard is the commercialized 'radio friendly' stuff like Puff Daddy and such. I'm not saying that's bad but because Hip hop isn't really mainstream here, it's very under represented.

I remember a while back we had a pirate station which was quite good and used to play a lot if uncensored stuff but I don't know what's happenend to that now.

Actually, we have one radio station which is quite good. They go by the name of 'love 100' and they play quite a lot of hip hop/RnB. The only downside is that they only air three days a week, but, it's better than nothing, considering we don't have anything else.

I think hip hop is probably more represented in places like London in England, mainly because it's the biggest city. I mean here, half of the stuff isn't even sold in record shops. In fact, in our local record shop, they probably have about 100 non-hip hop albums to every hip hop album, I have to have most of my cd's ordered because they don't have anything.

In America, you're lucky you have such a big hip hop scene because here it's just so under-represented. Because we don't have any decent radio stations, you just end up buying anything that you want to listen to because if you're waiting to listen to it on radio, you'll be waiting a long time.......


Yo, Dave,

You should really include some stuff about Scandanavian Hip-Hop radio. Attatched is a play list I got sent from Norway, and I remember when I was in Sweden a couple of months back, they were playin' "All Eyez on Me" in it's unedited entirity a good 2 months before it came out on commercial radio (I think it was called Power 106, Stolkholm). I'd also like to say something about Hip-Hop in Kenya. They had one radio station that played Puffy, 2Pac, Blackstreet mixed up in Nairobi, but on the public busses, I saw adds for folks like Foxy Brown, Raphael Sadiiq, Notorious B.I.G., Snow, Bounty Killer.... and in each bus with the add on it, that artist's albums were being blasted. I hear that's how folks find out about new music, is by riding the busses! Something sorta interesting if you wanna let folks know about it... anyway's here's the playlist (they got some bangin' cuts!)...

Li'l Jon

My name is dj DAO, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. The state of hip hop here is almost extinct, after endless attemptes by myself and my crew our avenues are pretty much to make it out of state or not at all. We had a radio show called "THE TOSSED SALAD SHOW" on KZHT 94.9 for about a year and lost it due to a ownership change (the new owners heard us and were upset that they had a "RAP SHOW"). We since have been in and out of every club in Utah trying to get a loyal following, however the  results are usually alway's the same. Everything always works at first for about  2 or 3 months and then fades out.


I gotta express my dissapointment on our swedish hip-hop/r&b radiostations. They play, exclusevly, Puffy, Montell Jordan and similar artists. I understand how they can't get hold of american underground tapes, but even mainstream artists like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Tupac don't get any airtime. They've played "Cailfornia Love" and "Dear Mama", but they're kinda soft tracks. The only Cube song I've ever heard on radio is, of course, "We be clubbin'"

Even MTV Europe, not that they're any good, have only one show playin' some hip-hop, called Base, but it really stinks. They renew their playlist as often as Cube keeps his original release-dates! So the only way I get new hip-hop is buyin' it, reading about it on the Internet, or buyin' magazines, that come here six weeks late!! Hip-hop is currently doing very well in Sweden, so please, everyone mentioned above; Get your acts together and start to make some money because the market IS there!!



I read your many responses and have been following your articles surrounding these issues and must say that I do agree with a lot of your readers. I live in Richmond, Virginia and the only TRUE hip hop station (J100 FM) can be heard only in selected areas; however there is a station that professes to play the 'real hip hop' (92.1 FM Power) and give you all the music you want, but the only thing they are pleasing is the 'Commonwealth'. First of all they play the same music over and over again in time slots; and if that's not enough, they only play songs that are commercially known (whether they are good or bad) instead of playing the real hip hop that every one the urban communities listen to. Afterall, these are the only ones that listen to the station.

Secondly, they have these weak 'Friday & Saturday' night show which stop airing at Midnight (the time when everyone is out and about). This is not something that they have to do, because I enjoy going to the Washington, DC/Maryland area on the weekend, just because the radio is BANGING and helps me get into that mode. Many radio stations don't understand, music is a mood setter, as well as a pleasure. And they just don't get it. Lastly, not to say that this should be a problem, but dj is white-now how can they relate and help the urban communities if they don't understand it???????

If you know a way to help this station get in tune to what many here in Richmond would like to do, please offer some suggestions. Because if not, they'll loose their ratings which I think they do on the weekend because no one is at work and have to list to that station.

Thanks for bringing this up, this is a serious issue....

Nicole Gamble
Richmond, Virginia

Whassup man this is Rey of BAY ROOT Productions and I'm in Seattle. I know you've heard of Nasty Nes, well anyways...His show "Rap Attack" is still standing, unscaved if you will. It's on Sundays on the college radio station. Your right about the advertisement of local DJ's and their mixtapes. The mainstream station up here KUBE 93 plays their rotation without a skip everyday. How are we to know what else is out there? If it wasn't for Nes and Maximus Clean keepin us in tune to the Hip Hop scene SEATTLE would be lost...PEACE!!!

check The WEB SITE....www.xyno.com/bayroot Please add to your links...we're new and tryin to get our name known...


Davey D,

I wanted to reply about the state of hip hop radio in 1998. Maybe this shows my age off the top, but I became fascinated with hip hop radio when I wanted to be a DJ myself, and heard my voice for the first time in 1982 on a radio station in Hawaii that played nothing but hip hop every Friday from 7pm to midnight. I don't remember the call letters, but it was 1540 AM or something to that effect. Then with Malcolm McLaren's "DUCK ROCK" album and the World Famous Supreme Team's radio show mixed throughout the whole album, I was hooked, and have been hooked ever since.

This is more so since I live in an area devoid of any hip hop or R&B on the airwaves. It's a double edged sword, since I listen to my own tapes or CD's in my car, but unfortunately I miss all the goodness that often comes with a good radio show or DJ.

When I travelled to NYC for the first time in 1990, I knew I had to hear Red Alert or Chuck Chillout. Sure, I had to go to the New Music Seminar the next morning, but I stayed up until 2am with my little walkman and headphones, just listening to my idols play the music and speak their knowledge.

A good DJ or radio show is like the early days of MTV in a way. It can be very exciting and it's done without hype or the advertising dollar, it's for the love of the music. That's why I give props to all DJ's who do it for the music, to celebrate this thing called hip hop. This includes all those DJ's I used to read about in the early days of "The Source", their playlists I used to memorize just so I could find the new shit.

Anyway, nuff reminiscing. I was in Hawai'i for the last two weeks on vacation after being away for 7 years, and I wanted to see if hip hop was represented well in my former home. I had heard about a few groups and had hoped to find some music to take back with me. As for the radio, forget it. I'm not sure if KTUH (station at the University of Hawaii) had any special hip hop shows, but I could not find any decent hip hop there, other than that Big Punisher song or Puff's Led Zeppelin massacre. I ended up listening to Hawaiian music on KINE 105.1 which, if they were hip hop, they would be killing people.

As for clubs, forget it. There was a Hieroglyphics show on the last weekend I was there, but if you're a local rap group in Hawai'i, forget it. The big thing is "Jawaiian" music, the very embarassing combination of Hawaiian and reggae (jah). I love Hawaiian and reggae music, but unlike Recess Peanut Butter Cups, these don't sound together. There are a few R&B groups (such as Forte' and Tenderoni), but other than that, hip hop is poorly represented in Hawaii.

Fortunately I found a comp CD called "FREESTILION SPECIES", featuring some great people like Ho'omanakaz, Sixth Sense, Maxwell Smart, and Akira-8. I was afraid that when Dr. Dre brought JJ Fad to Hawai'i back in 1991, everybody would still be in "Supersonic" mode but that wasn't the case. Hopefully, people outside of the islands will notice the small but slowly growing Hawaiian hip hop scene. But it definitely has to start with more radio exposure, otherwise the scene will be kept to a small group of friends, and it can't thrive that way.

-John Book
founder, U-WU
Pasco, Washington

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