Monday, May 12, 2008

Hip Hop Radio

An article about the endangered status of hip-hop radio in Portland, Oregon in yesterday's Oregonian got me wondering about how much hip-hop programming can be found on college radio.

The article relays the author's fears that Oregon's only hip hop station Jammin' 95.5 may be going off the air (as it turns out the format will move to another station):

"...After months of fluctuating ratings, Jammin' was flipping to an all-talk sports station on Monday, and the news that hip-hop was bouncing up the dial to 107.5 hasn't broken yet...

It's not that Jammin' was that bomb. Anyone who's heard hip-hop radio on the East Coast, in L.A. or in the Dirty South knows that Jammin' played hip-hop music but wasn't really a hip-hop station...

Still, it's a blow. While other young people listen to a variety of music -- from pop to punk to rock to country to hip-hop -- for most young black folks, hip-hop is it. The recent Black Youth Project survey found that nearly 60 percent of black youth listen to hip-hop daily compared with 23 percent of white youth. For Portland's tiny black community, Jammin' on the airwaves was like spraying what is perhaps the whitest major city in America with a graffiti tag saying 'we were here.'"

In many places (like Portland) hip hop is a rarity on commercial radio. Is this true at college radio stations too? Is hip-hop well-represented or not?

Are there other genres that you don't think are featured as much as they should be? Metal? Electronic music? International? Noise? Jazz? Experimental? What kind of genre balance should a college radio station have and who should decide?

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