Station Break

Can the Cities' oldest black radio station survive a date with the bulldozer?

Whatever happens to this niche, redevelopment will soon come to take KMOJ's building. Over the past few months, this corner of the near north side has begun to be scraped down to the dirt. If the 30-foot mounds of twisted stone and debris resemble the results of wide-scale carpet bombing, the swingless swingsets that rust in skeletal abandon nearby suggest a neutron blast that has vaporized all signs of life. It was here, among these squat brick buildings, splashed with lime-green or pale-peach siding, that KMOJ was born.

A drive past the site on a sunny afternoon in late March sees a construction shovel picking carelessly through the rubble across the street from KMOJ. The new Craig Mack tune that KMOJ's Mike Mike has taken to playing booms from the car speakers--an appropriate choice. "Just when you thought it was safe..." Mack raps with a comically foreboding tone. Then comes a Sinatra sample from "High Hopes": "Oops, there goes another rubber-tree plant."

Christopher Henderson

At 1913 Plymouth Ave. N., former home of the Way headquarters, there is now a police station. At 430 Bryant Ave. N., former home of the Prince of Glory Church, which first sponsored black Minneapolis's quest for its own radio voice, there is now the Lao Evangelical Lutheran Church. And at 501 Bryant Ave. N., the soon-to-be former home of KMOJ, there's a station counting down toward an unknown future.

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