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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Was Rev 105 a racist radio station?

If you're reading my blog, chances are you care about music and local radio. And if you care about music and local radio you probably want to read Dylan Hicks article "The Kids Are All White" published in today's City Pages. I'm a little confused about some of what Dylan is trying to say here, and at times I'm certain he's reaching a bit, like when he suggest that the former Twin Cities alt-rock station Rev 105's programming might have been considered racist:

"And what of the Rev? They were playing Soul Coughing, G. Love and Special Sauce, the Beastie Boys, Beck, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Tricky. The implication was that hip hop is best when it is made by white people and isn't exactly hip hop, and occasionally by black Britons who aren't exactly making hip hop either. Normally that sort of thing is called racism."

If Dylan's intent was to spur dialogue, he will surely succeed from what some may perceive as an outright attack on their new favorite radio station (89.3, The Current.)

If I sound a little non-committal it's because though I said "ouch!" out loud more than once while reading Dylan's piece, I do think he addresses some important issues, especially the fact that multiculturalism means more than just myopic conceptions of "both kinds" of music, whether those two kinds be black AND white, country AND western, or punk AND hardcore:

"There is another home for multiculturalism on the radio, where you can hear rap and rock and dance and pop and occasional country by men and women of assorted ethnicities. It's called Top 40 radio."

Another stretch perhaps, but you can see what he's getting at.

Paul Demko and Diablo Cody also offered their takes on The Current in the new issue, and you should probably read all 3 starting here.