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August 7, 2023 9:42 am  #1

The Man Who "Invented" Rap Radio

Rap music isn't my jam, as they say, but there are successful FM stations that have played it for years. But who was the first to program it in a major market in a big way? This story from the LA Times tells the story of the guy who decided to take a chance on the music of the streets on a full time basis, without quite knowing what he was getting into.

His name was Greg Mack and he changed KDAY Los Angeles from an also-ran #5 urban station in the market to #2 in 90 days back in 1983.  

It's quite an amazing story, filled with a lot of chance taking, discovery and complaints -  not to mention outright danger. 

 "...he...weathered criticism from less-than-enthused parents and politicians, and more than a few threats from record executives, angry that their often payola-backed tracks were suddenly getting less and less airplay.

“If you don’t quit playing all that rap music, we’re going to break your legs,” he recalled hearing from a record company exec at the time."

An interesting radio story on a format that doesn't get a lot of attention here.

When L.A. invented rap radio: The rise of KDAY


August 7, 2023 1:01 pm  #2

Re: The Man Who "Invented" Rap Radio

What a great story! Thanks for the share.

I currently host a weekend overnight hip-hop radio show and it's always nice to hear about the pioneers 'in tha game' that started blazing a trail long before myself.

Of a note local note, in that same general time period, CKLN was just starting to make waves with rap/hip-hop. DJ Ron Nelson was our pioneer, our godfather of hip-hop.