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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM

KFAI The Session

It used to be that you had to plan your week around certain specialty shows just to hear rap music on the radio in the Twin Cities. Now you have to plan your week around certain specialty shows just to hear rap music on the radio from the Twin Cities. B96 FM (96.3 FM) and KDWB (101.3 FM) play all the hits around the clock. But to hear anything local, freeform, unsigned, or mixed live in the studio, you really need the left of the dial. Thankfully, more than 20 hours of commercial-free rap pumps through KMOJ (89.9 FM), KFAI (90.3 FM/106.7 FM), Radio K (770 AM/100.7 and 106.5 FM), and the Current (89.3 FM) every Friday and Saturday. The freest four hours among these come squarely in the middle: KFAI's The Session, hosted late Friday night/early Saturday morning by Chicago native Special Dark, is a pre-dawn stretch of playground for a local street scene often ignored by other programs. Giving much of the show over to conversation, Dark balances hometown hardcore (Trama, Moochy C) with New York old-school, brand new crunk, classic R&B, and unsigned hypes of all kinds. Give him time (he has a lot), and this DJ will blur the social lines between neighborhoods, classes, era, and cliques: Everybody is "local famous" here. "A lot of people get too comfortable, man, scared to step outside the square," said R&B singer Rico Novotion on a recent program. The Session gives them a push.

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