Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Keeping it Real on Air ... DJ Hyphen
I came across DJ Hyphen and the Sunday Night Sound Sessions through my man O a while back. He put me on to this DJ out of Seattle that was doing a real dope show on Sunday nights, then emailing the mp3 out to folks who wanted it and posted it on his The Audacity of Dope website (www.theaudacityofdope.com). It took me a while to get on to what Hyphen was doing but eventually I subscribed to that mailing list and surely the emails started coming with the playlist and mp3 attached. It’s been a pleasure to hear some stuff from folks that definitely deserve radio play but aren’t getting it in the current scheme of things.
He spotlights the kind of artists that you have to either live in their area to hear their stuff or comb through MySpace music and other networking places to hear about it. Through his Sunday Night Sound Sessions, Hyphen and co-host J. Moore strive to give good music airtime. It’s definitely not the full amount of airtime that so many talented heads deserve but as Hyphen explained, commercial radio is a business.
I decided to reach out to Hyphen for a Q&A. He definitely keeps it real and insightful. Here’s what Hyphen had to say.
Where does "The Audacity of Dope" name come from?
The Audacity of Dope name comes from a play on Barack's 2nd book, The Audacity of Hope. I founded the blog in May 2008 as a home for our Sound Session interviews and episodes, which was also around the time I started working in a fellowship program for Obama's campaign. It seemed like a natural fit to tie my political interests with passion for music. Plus, I like that people have to spell 'audacity' to get to the page. Those who can't shouldn't be there anyway.
What's the inspiration behind the show "Sunday Night Sound Sessions" and why you do it?
Sunday Night Sound Session is the brainchild of myself and my co-host, J. Moore. It started when KUBE 93 approached us to take their Sunday night new music show into a new direction, preferably something a little more focused on the 'underground' side of hip-hop. Having hosted a college radio show for four years previously, I knew I wanted to make Sound Session similar to my Beats, Rhymes, and Life college program, but take it to a new level with the increased wattage. J and I are inspired on a weekly basis to give some shine to deserving artists that may not be getting the exposure they deserve through traditional media outlets. In other words, we support good music, across multiple genres, because most commercial media outlets are more concerned with turning a profit than promoting art. We understand that it's ultimately a business, but we think there should be more of a balance, and hopefully Sound Session provides some of that.
Why aren't there more programs like "Sound Session" on other stations?
There aren't more programs like Sound Session because the current business model with commercial radio doesn't allow it. Plain and simple, radio at this level is a business designed to make as much money as possible for large corporations. There's nothing wrong with that from a capitalist level, but from an artistic perspective, it's a huge detriment to the music. Large corporations sell hip-hop the same way they'd sell shoes or pizza. Whatever they can do to make money, they'll do it. This translates to media outlets across the country promoting the most base level human interests in their entertainment packages, which is particularly evident in hip-hop. If big budget action movies depend on explosions and flashing lights, hip-hop radio tries to sell sex, drugs, and violence. They're the easiest topics to sell because they require the least amount of education. When you have a rapper on our show talking about socio-economic issues and gentrification, you're automatically going over the heads of at least half of society. It’s sad but true. It all starts with education.
Who are three ill artists right now flying under the radar?
The first artist that pops into my head is my dude Shad (www.myspace.com/shad). He's insanely talented lyrically, makes great songs that everyone can relate to, and takes pride in his sound and his message. That's pretty much my criteria for who I want to listen to, and it's only a matter of time before he gets the recognition he deserves. Along those same lines, there's a MC from the Bay/LA named Tunji (www.myspace.com/tunji) that I've known for almost a decade now. He's one of the most talented artists I've ever seen and like Shad, he takes so much pride in his music and what he represents. He's going to make some classic music sooner rather than later. Lastly...hmm...I'll throw a curveball and go outside of hip-hop. There's an indie pop/R&B group from Sweden called Little Dragon (www.myspace.com/yourlittledragon) that makes some incredible music. I don't know too much about their story, but their music is a great mix of all the best elements of pop, soul, R&B, and even some hip-hop influences. I definitely recommend people to check 'em out.
Also, here’s a taste of the Sunday Night Sound Sessions. If you like it, hit Hyphen up and get on that mailing list.
Link to download the mp3 of the show - http://www.mediafire.com/?zjwznhl3w2m
(back up / streaming link - http://www.zshare.net/audio/5895088060a5bf87/)
Show #203 Playlist (4-19-09)
1. Crooked I & DJ Wicked – “Jackin’ For Beats 2009”
2. Pac Div – “Pac Div (What It Is)”
3. Nipsey Hussle ft. Slauson Boys & K. Young – “Roll The Windows Up”
4. Defari – “Show Some Luv”
5. Skyzoo ft. Wale – “Freshfest”
6. Grynch – “A Dream Undeferred” (Local Artist)
7. Chali 2Na ft. Talib Kweli – “Lock Sh*t Down”
8. Stepbrothers (Evidence & Alchemist) – “It’s Coming Down”
9. Big Pooh – “Rear View Mirror”
10. **INTERVIEW WITH KUDDIE FRESH**
11. Asher Roth ft. Miguel Jontel – “His Dream”
12. B.o.B ft. Devin The Dude – “Gettin’ High”
13. Sharam ft. Kid Cudi – “She Came Along”
14. Chester French – “C’Mon (On My Own)”
15. Dyme Def ft. Saigon – “Pick Up Ya Flow” (Local Artist)
16. Jadakiss ft. Raekwon & Ghostface Killah – “Cartel Gathering”
17. Shad – “Get Up”
18. Outasight – “Even Say Goodbye”
19. Common Market – “Escaping Arkham” (Local Artist)
20. Kidz In The Hall – “I Got It Made (Reebok Classic ’09)”
21. U-N-I – “Lauren London”
22. Drake ft. Lloyd – “A Night Off”