The popularity of hip hop music has reached an all time high in recent years, and with good reason. The genre is incredibly popular across the globe and has influenced everything from mainstream pop to country music. Hip hop radio is an important part of the genre’s history and helped to introduce rap music to the masses. It was also a way for record labels to promote new artists and sell records. The genre’s heyday took place in the last decade when artists like 50 Cent, Kanye West and The Neptunes became superstars.
Whether you’re a fan of the genre or just interested in its history, hip hop radio is worth checking out. This collection of episodes from commercial, college and community radio stations will give you an idea of what it was like to hear rap on the airwaves during the 80’s and 90’s.
This site seeks to digitize, preserve, share, and contextualize recordings of hip hop radio from the 1980s through the 1990s from commercial, college, community, and pirate stations of all sizes. The primary goal of the project is to trace how hip hop spread through radio and tell the stories of the DJs who made it happen.
Hip hop started off as a street sound with roots in the African American culture. It was a rebellious movement that challenged the status quo. It also promoted the idea that rappers and musicians should be evaluated on their artistic merit rather than their ability to make money. The word rap was derived from the term rhyming, which meant combining words to create a rhythm. Hip hop music is a fusion of different styles that includes funk, rock and reggae. This fusion of styles helps to create an eclectic mix that can’t be found anywhere else.
The best hip hop radio stations will combine current hits and b-side classics in an arrangement that is uniquely their own. This mixture is accented by unique DJ drops and sounds to create a blend that is unlike anything you’ve heard before. The station producers are responsible for creating the atmosphere of the show and keeping it fresh and fun to listen to.
In the early days of rap, DJs were celebrities in their own right. They would get mountains of records delivered to their homes, and they were essential tastemakers. Early hip hop radio DJs like Mack from KDAY in Los Angeles would champion emerging artists despite resistance from local record stores and label heads. They did this because they believed in the message of rap and knew that it could appeal to a wider audience.
During the millennium decade, hip hop went from a rebellious street style to a mainstream phenomenon with crossover success. This was due in large part to a new wave of talent from the south, including artists like Drake and Rihanna. During this period, the music took on a more patriotic tone that was influenced by the events of 9/11. Groups like The Diplomats and G-Unit wore lots of American flag inspired gear and talked about how their lives were forever changed by that fateful event. hip hop radio