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BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM Minneapolis 2001 - KMOJ-FM (89.9

Readers' Choice: Radio K's Beat Box (KUOM-AM 770)

Before it moved from Saturday mornings (2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.) to Saturday nights (9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.), 2 the Break-A-Dawn's final 60 minutes represented perhaps the finest hour on local radio. Watching the sun come up while listening to track after track of the sort of rare soul and R&B and funk records that fueled a thousand hip-hop classics...well, let's just say that a hot mug of coffee and a moan from your partner to come back to bed could only barely compete. Now, in its party drive-time slot, the show is shorter and harder for on-the-go hip-hop fans to catch. But hosts Siddiq and DJ Abilities have made up in entertainment value what they lost in breadth. The former runs the lion's share of enterprises under the Rhymesayers label umbrella, the latter is one half of the up-and-coming Rhymesayers duo Eyedea and Abilities. So, too, DJ Abilities spins with Rhymesayers legends Atmosphere, and has emerged as one of the best hip-hop DJs ever to come out of the Twin Cities. Both mix the show live, both plumb old-school classics and underground greats, and both encourage live freestyling from their friends and out-of-town guests. To be sure, the year-old show faces an imposing standard set by longtime rap radio vet Smoke D. every Friday night on KMOJ-FM (89.9). But the emphasis on unheard and unheralded hip hop (get out your cassettes) makes 2 the Break-A-Dawn a fresh addition to our tuning schedule, even without the rising sun providing accompaniment.

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