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Internet Radio Host Takes Lead and Finds Success for LA's Undiscoverd Hip Hop Artists often Ignored by Commerical Radio

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Someone once told me the key to a successful business is to find a hole fill it. The community has certainly expressed their frustrations over not being able to get airplay for quite some time now, even staging protests in front of one-time supporter Power 106. I think internet is going to pose a real threat to commercial but I also suspect commercial will sit idly by and wait to see what happens instead of taking action to compete now. I like stories like where people see the brighter side of darkness and make lemon-aid out of lemons.

Radio personality Mr. R talks about his internet radio show on KYHY in Burbank on Wednesday. Mr. R plays independent and unsigned hip hop and rap artists.

In a city internationally known for its on-air talent, Mr. R regards his radio persona as a music kingmaker, hurling undiscovered hip-hop and R&B artists into the national focus.

Not that the of KYHY’ “What’ Hot Radio” is without talent.

“As an artist, I was a Will Smith type, you know, clean lyrics,” said Mr. R, a.k.a. Robert Rickenbacker. “But at that time, people weren’t trying to hear that because the gangster thing was real popular.”

He returned to radio after starring as an actor on the Web series “After Hours” and then hosted a show based on the “Fresh Music Series,” soliciting tracks from unsigned musicians before moving from New York to Burbank.

His show, which airs four days a week on the city’s Internet radio station the Why, is a mix of local artists and musicians from Los Angeles and as far away as Nigeria, the United Kingdom and Germany.

“To be honest with you, I wasn’t even listening to a lot of this music in the beginning,” said the Long Island native. “I try to do everything now because I don’t want to pigeonhole myself.”

The goal is to give exposure to artists trying to break through “who wouldn’t have a shot at top 30, top 40 radio,” station coordinator Jerry Dailey said.

“The thing is a lot of stations aren’t giving those artists airtime, and that’s why I say there’s really no happy medium,” said Mr. R, 41. “In the economy, either you’re rich or you’re poor. There’s no in between in music, too. Either you’re mainstream or you’re not.”

He likened the budding musicians to college athletes.

“At this stage, they’re hungry, and they’re going to work hard to get noticed,” he said. “Artists who want to get on my show are putting together their best material as opposed to someone who’s already signed and making millions.”

via [read more here].


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2 COMMENTS

  1. We’re doing the same thing in Dallas, only we’re taking it to another level. Currently we’re selling airtime slots to people who’ve always wanted their own show, but couldn’t pass the corporate gate keeper to get in! Our clients are able to generate income by selling their own commercials! They’re responsible for programming their own show, can play any music they want to (we’re fully ASCAP/BMI legal) and can call their own shots!!

    I wish the displaced DJ’s of the world (Donnie Simpson, Skip Murphy, etc.) would understand the power at their fingertips, but unfortunately many radio people are robots in need of a job!! WAKE UP PEOPLE..it’s a new day…go get yours!

    We haven’t even officially launched our station thru press releases or promotions yet because we’re signing up the shows and placing them into the line up…but already we’ve got listening streams from all around the world, over 200 from the L.A. area alone!

    Keep up the good work tellin’ it like it is Kevin, it’s the nonconformists like us that keep hope alive…Lol…!!!!!!

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