Deejays serving up hot rap combo platters
03.05.2008Anyone who still thinks rap music is just one isolated style of popular music might want to listen to the radio this weekend to be reminded otherwise.
WXRK (92.3 FM) is breaking out a new show called "Mash-Up Radio" Friday at 10 p.m., with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill mixing rock and rap by combining vocal tracks from one song with instrumental tracks from another.
On Saturday, WFDU (89.1 FM) will broadcast live 4-9 p.m. from "Rap Fest 2004," in which more than two dozen artists perform gospel music in rap style.
"Mash-Up," popular in Europe for years, has lately crossed the pond, attracting Internet and tape mixers plus club deejays.
K-Rock had a long run with a mash-up that mixed Linkin Park and Jay-Z, notes operations manager Rob Cross, and that led him to give the style its own hour.
"It's the best of both worlds," he says. "It's new and it's familiar. I think most people like it, but even the ones who hate it will find it really, really interesting.
"Best-case scenario: You love both songs. Worst-case scenario: You say, 'What have they done to that Linkin Park song?' and tell your friends to listen to see how bad it is. I can live with that."
Some of the artists Muggs will combine Friday include Metallica and Bone Crusher, Linkin Park and Busta Rhymes, Rage Against the Machine and DMX.
Rock and rap have mingled since Aerosmith and Run-DMC cut "Walk This Way" in 1986, but there are still walls.
"I see the problem of trying to bridge the gap between rock fans listening to hip hop and vice versa," says Muggs. "Doing remixes is a good way to reach the kids that would not normally listen."
Floyd Cray of WFDU, host of Saturday's "Rap Fest" show, has been doing a gospel hip-hop show called "Gospel Vibrations" on WFDU for five years.
Since hip-hop gets much of its attention for explicit material, Cray says this less-known flip side deserves more notice as well. "Gospel and hip-hop go together beautifully," he says.
R.I.P.: Two radio deaths of note.
Hunter Hancock of Los Angeles, one of the genuine rock 'n' roll pioneers, died Sunday at the age of 88. He started in radio in 1943 and a decade later was one of the first white guys to start playing all black rhythm and blues artists, as Alan Freed did at first.
Guitarist Tony Mottola, who died Monday at 86, was best known for playing many years behind Frank Sinatra and 14 years with the "Tonight Show" band.
But he had a long radio career, too, starting as a teenager on WAAT in Newark - where he met both Sinatra and his wife Mitzi. He played on Sinatra's first solo commercial radio show and later backed the likes of Jack Benny, Burns and Allen and Kate Smith.
AROUND THE DIAL: Leonard Lopate of WNYC (93.9 FM, 820 AM) interviews Dominican Republic President-elect Leonel Fernandez tomorrow, noon-2 p.m. ... Jonathan Schwartz, who plays American standards Saturday and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. on WNYC (93.9 FM), and also programs the standards channel "Frank's Place" on XM satellite radio, has signed five-year contracts with both WNYC and XM. This is good news for the music. ... Andrew Cuomo and Rick Lazio will talk politics tomorrow on WVOX (1460 AM), noon-1 p.m. ... The WEPN (1050 AM) morning team of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will make their ESPN-TV prime-time debut Friday night at 8, with guests including Derek Jeter. ... Today's "City Watch" on WBAI (99.5 FM), 10-11 a.m., continues previewing Republican convention protests. ... A CD of Stephen Foster songs called "Beautiful Dreamer" is No. 1 nationally on "Americana" radio.