African Alert Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary and the Golden Era of Hip-Hop This Saturday

Categories: Five Questions

Courtesy of G. Wiz
The Street Vibes crew at KDHX: Vaughn Morgan, Stacy Static, G.Wiz and Sylvester the Cat.
What were some of the earliest records you spun while DJing for African Alert, and what are you listening to right now?

Currently what sticks out to me? I pretty much wouldn't know if you told me -- that's just how far separated I am from today's music. If I hear something and I feel it, it doesn't matter if it was today's music or yesteryear's music. I don't like to put good music in a time slot. If it's Motown, it sounds good after 50, 60 years. Public Enemy's song "Fight the Power" still sounds just as good today.

I don't know the names of a lot of artists or songs today, but I do know that back in African Alert days, I could run some stuff off the music I was playing easily on that. That's what the show was based on -- that time when hip-hop was a bandage because everyone looked at hip-hop as something bad. The good thing about African Alert was that during that time span, you had Afrocentric hip-hop groups coming out: Public Enemy, X Clan, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Boogie Down Productions. They were on that intelligent knowledge. There was a lot of that going on, and that's where African Alert fit in.

Courtesy of G. Wiz
G. Wiz in the studio at Old School 95.5, his current regular DJing gig.

As far as going out and searching for things, I don't really dig for anything anymore. I'm at the point where I pretty much have when it comes to music just about all I can handle --- I'm satisfied. At one point, I sold my hip-hop stuff, sold the twelve-inches to the DJs here. St. Louis is not a historical-type place where they recognize people who are groundbreakers or people who left legacies, so basically when you become a certain age they kind of put you to the side.

I'm gonna go do my own thing in the meantime, but I'm going to get rid of some of this stuff I have that the younger generation can use. I didn't want to -- I had the space to keep them but I'm not going to be out there playing this stuff. They'll spin it. People need to hear this stuff. You know you have to pass the torches. You hold on to it too long and you'll burn your hand.

Who was along for the ride with you shedding some light on the golden age of hip-hop back then, and who would you say carries the torch today?

Well you have different profiles of DJs today. It's like more than one torch is being carried. You've got your DJ Kut that's still doing his thing. You've still got Charlie Chan doing his thing. You've got Needles doing his thing. DJ Slim comes from the skating rink aspect. I was there forever but I'm not really into the skating rink thing anymore hardly at all. Slim is the one that carries that torch -- him and J-Rilla.

Continue to page three for more.

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