Hip-Hop lives!Written by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I couldn’t help but feel a bit of nostalgia walking through the UT student union. As I walked toward WXUT 88.3 FM, I remember the excitement I felt years ago at 6 a.m. every Monday. Equipped with the latest vinyl in Hip-Hop and a bag of CDs on my back, I felt like I was going to save the world one underground hit at a time. But this isn’t Martini’s Wet N Wild Show (calm down, it was just a name) this is Andre L. Williams’ “The Session, where real music still matters.”
In the hallway, I ran into his co-hosts, E.T. (Elevated Thinkin) and Naki Akrobettoe and while waiting for Andre we made small talk about the life and/or “death” of Hip Hop. “But Hip Hop lives!” I exclaimed. “Why? Because, you can’t kill an era!” I mean, sure, its evolved in a way that those from the “True School” period ( Jay Dilla, A Tribe Called Qwest, Digable Planets etc.) can’t stomach but that period lives on through groups like Slum Village, Little Brother and Toledo’s own Elevated Thinking and The Basix.
Suddenly, Andre appeared and we walked into the station continuing our conversation while the elements of Hip-Hop shine. It shines through the poetry of Naki’s crew D.E.E.P. (Developing Empowering, Enhancing Poets) and the conscious thoughts of E.T. while Andre runs the program playing that “True School” Hip-Hop. This past week, the Hip-Hop community was dealt a blow when Keith Elam aka Guru of Gang Starr lost his battle with cancer. He was hardcore and conscious during a period of Hip-Hop when you had to be one or the other. Guru was Hip-Hop.
This week, “The Session” was dedicated to Guru. During the dedication I asked Andre about his inspiration for bringing real Hip-Hop to the airwaves and he simply replied, “I feel like radio didn’t play what people wanted. There was music for the teen boppers or music for an older generation but nothing in between.”
College radio has always been a way for local artists of all genres to interview and receive feedback. Hip-Hop show are popping up on the Internet and satellite radio. Audiences are looking to quench their musical thirst with nourishing lyrics, which leads me to the phenomenal poetess, Naki Akrobettoe. The only member of the show with an undergrad background in radio production, she not only has the gift of natural flowing lyrics, she also has love for the radio business. She shared with me her motivation for being a part of “The Session” by simply stating, “I’m passionate about music. I want to be able to use my skills, my communication skills; my English skills to remind people of music and its purpose to keep them alive and (for them to) always seek something different to challenge themselves.”
Andre Williams has carefully crafted a team with a voice for the future. They are armed with all the elements needed for conscious Hip-Hop heads: love, knowledge and respect. Tune in to “The Session” Wednesday nights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on WXUT 88.3FM.
As we continue on …