by The People’s Minister of Information JR
KPOO Radio is the first station on the dial to play local Hip Hop. DJ X-1 is one of the godfathers of the Bay Area Hip Hop radio movement, and he is famous for breaking local Hip Hop artists like JT the Bigga Figga and, within recent years, Beeda Weeda and J. Stalin. Although he is still on terrestrial radio, he has now turned his attention to owning audio real estate on the internet with his newest creation, Turnd Up Radio. I am honored to take this time to talk to one of the dudes who directly opened the door for me in Bay Area radio, the one and only DJ X-1. Check him out in his own words …
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell people how you got into radio? When?
DJ X-1: I got into radio by accident when I was 11 years old. Me and my homie, DJ Tony Tone was just riding our bike in the downtown area. So we rode down Natoma Street and seen this building with art work on it. Me and the homie was curious to see what kind of building it was.
The door was open, so we walked in. Come to find out the building was KPOO Radio. We talkin’ in the ‘80s. So we were approached by a guy named Lamar Player, a DJ there at the time. He welcomed us in, told us what kind of business it was and what they do there.
Me and my partner were intrigued by it, so we started coming back almost every day. The first time we got a chance to sit in was with Tim and Duff, who showed us how it was to do a show. Lamar Player showed us how to edit on tape decks, and I used to watch JJ splice reel to reel tapes. He probably doesn’t remember.
But from that point, it was on. I’ve had the bug ever since. I guess you can say it was my calling.
M.O.I. JR: Why did you decide to start an internet radio station?
DJ X-1: I started Turnd Up Radio because a lot of radio stations play the same thing over and over, and there’s not any variety in the music. And what I mean by that is that they play one type of rap and RnB, and nothin’ else.
I want our youth to hear different types of rap music – artists like Skillz, Chen Lo, United Front, more Dead Prez, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Askari X and hip hop like that. And other types of positive Hip Hop that doesn’t get any radio or video play.
I want to bring real Hip Hop back to the forefront, and the same goes with RnB. I’m going to bring real RnB back. I want to bring real music back, you know.
M.O.I. JR: What is it about the medium of radio that you like the most?
DJ X-1: I like for people to enjoy the music and mixes that I play for them to feel good and have a good time too at home, and it’s also my way of teaching people through the music, poetry, spoken word and speeches that I play.
M.O.I. JR: Who are and were some of the people you looked up to on the radio?
DJ X-1: When I was younger, I took a trip to New York and got a chance to listen to Mr. Magic, DJ Red Alert, DJ Marley Marl – and I met some guys that work at a station similar to KPOO; their crew was called the Awesome 2.
And the guy I met was DJ Teddy Ted. I really didn’t listen to a lot of West Coast radio shows. They didn’t move me. The East Coast did at that time. But there was only one West Coast radio show that moved me, and that was my KPOO family, Franky J, Marcus Clemmons and my man JJ on the Radio.
M.O.I. JR: What is the concept behind Turnd Up Radio?
DJ X-1: The concept to Turnd Up Radio is to bring something fresh, new and different. We’re doing things other online radio stations are not doing.
M.O.I. JR: Who are some of the broadcasters on Turnd Up Radio currently?
DJ X-1: Right now our staff is small cause we just got started on Feb. 2, but right now we have myself, Shaheim (DJ-X1), and Jahmil as the music director, program director and mixshow jock. My cousin Antonio (Crazy Tone) Reid is co-owner and promotion director for the Southern Region. My spiritual cousin, Anthony (DJ Tony Tone) Clarkson, is a mixshow jock. And Jamal (Nsomniak) does the Hip Hop news. And feature segments from yourself, JR Valrey, because I do play the Block Report.
And I’m currently looking for people to do shows like world news, a Jazz show, talk shows, Reggae, Hip Hop, and RnB shows we need to fill in some slots, if you are interested hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
M.O.I. JR: What do you want people to get out of Turnd Up Radio?
DJ X-1: I would like for people to be informed, educated, aware and enjoy the music. We play Hip Hop, RnB, Gospel, Blues, Jazz, Reggae, speeches, spoken word and some comedy – a little something for all generations.
M.O.I. JR: How could people tune in?
DJ X-1: If people wanted to check us out, they can go to www.turndupradio.com.
M.O.I. JR: How could people keep up with you on terrestrial radio?
DJ X-1: They can go to my Facebook, which is Shaheim Jahmil, or Turnd Up Radio.
M.O.I. JR: How do people keep up with you online?
DJ X-1: Check for me at Shaheim Jahmil on Facebook or, on YouTube, mixmasterdjx1. It’s Turnd Up Radio on SoundCloud and on Twitter.
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and the newly released “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.