Check out this Kelly Clarkson Remix I did with my good friend DJ Reidiculous. Stay tuned for more collabos with Reidiculous.
In light of the Recent Radio Battle in New York between Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex and Power 105.1, this made me think about some of the Greatest Radio Battles. Radio in the 80’s and early 90’s spawned some of the Fiercest and Nastiest Radio battles. From the On-Air Promo’s to the Jocks attacking each other and in some cases, Radio Street teams would fight each other in parking lots. You don’t see much of that anymore but there were some Classic Fights on the Radio.
Let me preface by saying I’m not a total Radio Geek and will probably leave out many of the obvious ones. Feel free to Chime in and let me know your thoughts or what Radio Battles you believe should be included. One more thing, I am only going to talk about Top 40/Rhythm/Urban Stations that I remember during my time.
1)San Francisco – KMEL vs KYLD (90’s) – This to me was probably one of the Fiercest Radio battles in the country. I know many will disagree but it gets my Top spot. KMEL was a Legendary Radio Power House that helped launch the careers of Tu Pac, MC Hammer, E40, and more. KYLD signed on in 1992 and became a major force with their On-Air Jocks like Sway and Tech, Doghouse, and their various Mixshows. This Radio Battle was just down right nasty. Their own Street teams were using Guerrilla tactics and in some instances violence erupted. It was probably the closest thing to Gang warfare. But beyond that, Both stations had some of the best DJs battling it out on a daily basis. It was some Great radio for sure.
In a May 3, 2006 broadcast, Star mentioned DJ Envy’s wife and two children and threatened to find and sexually abuse Casey’s 4-year old daughter. Torain said he would pay $500 to any listener who told him where the girl attended school. Torain, who is black, also used racial and sexual epithets about DJ Envy’s wife, Gia Casey, who is part Asian.
After protests by the New York City Council, detectives from the New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit charged Torain with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and required him to surrender his target pistol license and 9-millimeter handgun. The charges were later dropped.
3)Chicago – WGCI vs WBMX (80s) The birthplace of House music also gave birth to a Great Radio Rivalry from 1981-1988. Both stations were Urban stations with great Radio talent. However, WBMX overtook the #1 spot from the Legendary WGCI in 1984 with it’s great programming, Mixshows, and DJs. WBMX’s Original Hot Mix 5 included: Kenny “Jammin'” Jason, Mickey “Mixin'” Oliver, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Ralphie “The Razz” Rosario, Scott “Smokin'” Silz. In 1984 Farley left WBMX to go to WGCI and joined the “Jackmasters: Mario “Smokin” Diaz, Mario Reyes, Mike “Hitman” Wilson, Fast Eddie and Bad Boy Bill. The Battle between DJ’s and Radio made for some great Music and Epic battles.
4)Los Angeles – The Beat vs Power 106 (Early 90s) These two stations Battled it out pretty aggressively similar to the Bay Area. Both stations had tremendous talent and was instrumental for launching careers of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, and just about every West Coast rapper back in the day. They would battle back and forth in the ratings but it was their creativity On-Air that excited Southern California back then.
5)New York – WKTU vs WQHT vs Z100 (90s) From Worst to First, The Beat of New York 103.5 KTU signed on Feb 10, 1996 at Noon. New York’s Dance leaning Top 40 station featured some familiar Air-personalities from the Original 92 KTU and Hot 97. Al Bandeiro, Paco Lopez, Glenn Friscia, DJ Skribble to name a few. Programmed by Former Z100 PD Frankie Blue along with Jeff Z, The New KTU took New York City by storm. The war was short lived with the merger between Chancellor and Evergreen bringing WKTU and Z100 under one umbrella. However, the energy that was brought to the Tri-State area during that time is still talked about to this day.
Houston had several Epic Radio Battles so I will talk about 3 Major ones that I grew up listening to.
6)Houston – 93Q vs Power 104 vs Energy 96.5 (Late 80s) – New Wave was in and so was Houston Radio. All 3 stations had Live Club Broadcasts and all 3 stations played Club Music ranging from Depeche Mode, New Order, to Front 242. In the end, 93Q switched to Country, Energy flipped to AC, and Power 104 dropped the Power and became 104 KRBE. However, this was one of the most unique Radio battles in the country.
7)Houston – KMJQ vs KBXX (Early 90s) 102 Jamz was an established Urban station until 97.9 The Box came into town in 1991. They helped start the careers of the Geto Boys, MC Breed, and others. The two stations battled it out until the merger in 1994.
8)Houston – Hot 95.7 vs KRBE (2008) March 13, 2008 Hot 95.7 launched as a Rhythmic leaning Top 40 station. The station was a mixture of Pop, R&B, Dance hits that leaned Rhythmic. From the start, all of the imaging mocked and poked fun at the established 104 KRBE. Despite the many naysayers that didn’t think Hot could take down a legendary station like KRBE, it happened. Because of their success, CBS took the Hot Model to launch AMP in L.A. and 92.3 NOW in New York.
9)New York – Z100 vs WPLJ (Late 80s/Early 90s) These were the Two Top 40 Powerhouses that many in the Radio Community seem to talk about the most. This Grudge match would last almost a Decade and there was no love lost between the two stations during this period. When Scott Shannon returned to New York to start Mojo Radio on WPLJ, it was the start of the darkest time for Top 40 Radio in my Opinion. You would hear some 70’s and 80’s records mixed with current 90’s. Eventually, WPLJ became and AC station and Z100 went Alternative leaning.
10)Philadelphia – Q102 vs Eagle 106 (Late 80s/Early 90s) In the City of Brotherly Love these two stations weren’t so brotherly to each other. In one corner you had Air Personalities Boomer, Joe Mama, Chris Jagger on Q102. In the other corner, you had Cadillac Jack, Spyder Harrison, John Lander on Eagle 106. What you got was some good radio.
11)New York – Hot 97 vs Power 105 (2006) Funkmaster Flex was on the attack against Power 105.1 DJs. One of them was Power 105.1’s DJ Spinbad. Here is Spinbad’s On-Air response.
There are way more Radio battles that I left out but feel free to discuss.