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UK Hip Hop: International
Intro Early Doors:
1979-1985
False Dawn:
1985-1990
Underground Years:
1990-1995
The Renaissance:
1995- 2000
The Future:
2000 & Beyond
Artists &
Discographies
BBC 1Xtra
1Xtra - Hip Hop
Hip Hop DJs on 1Xtra - Skitz, Rodney P, Semtex, Excalibah, Seani B
1Xtra DJs
Times are GMT
The new digital radio station from the BBC has finally launched after much expectation. Following storming parties spread across the UK on the 16th August, which were broadcast live the transmissions have been continuing and are available across many digital media. You can check it out via your TV if you have Sky, DTT or cable and there is also a constantly updated website which is tightly integrated with the shows and promises to offer lots of chances with direct interaction with the DJs as they play in the studios. So far it has the feel of a pirate station, but fused with the quality of the BBC. The stations core ideals are to play a wide variety of 'Urban' / 'Black' music, which includes Hip Hop, RnB, Garage, Dancehall, Drum & Bass and more. 

People in London have long been able to access stations like this 24/7 for sometime and other major conurbations will feature this sort of programming, but people in Rural areas have been crying out for a service like this for some time.  Being provided by the BBC which is funded by the TV license fee, the station is relatively shielded from commercial imperatives and everyone hopes that this means that they will be able to experiment with their play lists including breaking new talent and playing tracks from smaller labels which wouldn't normally get a look in on the larger stations due to the payola situations and the stranglehold the cartel of major labels have on what we hear. The management team, headed up by Wilber Wilberforce certainly have the credentials to make this work and some of the UKs most talented DJs have been signed up to the service giving it a posture that should make its key demographic audience think that it has credibility. Only time will tell if the station lives up to the hype, but it is off to a roaring start and promises much for the future. The other main advantages of being broadcast by the BBC are the lack of intrusive adverts every few minutes and the web audio player which will soon offer an archive facility so that you can time shift your listening or catch shows you would have normally missed.

Hip Hop has been given a prominence and with DJs like Skitz and Rodney P, Semtex and Excalibah all having substantial regular slots, we can expect to have the airwaves opened up to much more independent and underground tracks, something which should please many music fans and means that Westwood can continue playing what he does and still have the BBC fulfill its Public Service remit by making other tracks which have been underrepresented until now available here. Other DJs like the Rampage crew and Ras Kwame will be slotting the odd Hip Hop tack into their shows too, so don't expect Hip Hop to be sidelined in specialist shows and the extremes of the schedules. Although this station may be about 10 years too late for London it could just be what the UK needs to get the black music industry properly recognised and able to compete with other more established and ingrained musical genres. The timings of the shows are as follows:
  • Original Fever with Rodney P & Skitz every Monday night 7pm -10pm
  • Saturday Mixtape with Semtex every Saturday evening 7pm - 9pm
    and
  • Tales From The Legend with Excalibah every Thursday night 10pm - 12midnight

All the DJs have a long list of credentials. Skitz is a longtime beat maker and DJ who is one half of the Titan Sounds records label. With his reggae influences his partner Rodney P is a suitable sidekick. Rodney is the biggest name in UK Hip Hop, having been in the London Posse 15 years ago, to now making a long deserved comeback with his Riddim Killa record label in association with Low Life Records. Semtex is a DJ who has been around since '92 playing out and putting out his own tapes. Recently he was the street team manager for Sony and more latterly Def Jam UK / Talking Loud. DJ Excalibah is the youngster of the 1Xtra DJs who has recently been playing on Juice FM in London, playing out and is an accomplished producer too having made beats for the likes of The Colony, Troy Scalpels and Out Da Ville. Check 'em all out.

Check out 1Xtra on the web: www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra
Check out the Skitz & Rodney P trailer: www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/realmedia/skitz.ram
 
Intro Early Doors:
1979-1985
False Dawn:
1985-1990
Underground Years:
1990-1995
The Renaissance:
1995- 2000
The Future:
2000 & Beyond
Artists &
Discographies

 
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