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Vibe vs. Hot: Battle of the throwback rap radio stations

A banner featuring artists played by 105 the Vibe

A banner featuring artists played by 105 the Vibe

The Twin Cities went from a period sorely lacking in hip-hop radio to suddenly having two FM stations entirely devoted to it. Recently unveiled station 105 the Vibe — formerly alt-rock station Rev in the '90s, most recently sports station The Ticket — boasts a similar "throwback" format to the fairly new station Hot 102.5.

Since losing B96 in 2010, it's been a boon to suddenly turn on the radio and hear rap, and both stations have already proven to be big hits among local listeners. There remains a drought of contemporary rap on the dial, though Vibe and Hot have plenty of SEO-friendly content on their respective homepages about Fetty Wap and Dej Loaf to play to the youth-driven click market. But, in this deprived small market, we'll certainly take what we can get.

The stations are strikingly similar in terms of format, each pulling from a somewhat limited array of old-school tracks specifically designed to appeal to people who are starting to realize they're old. "Kids have their station, now so do you!" is one of Vibe's station tags, likely prompting parents in their cars telling their children "they wouldn't know anything about this" as 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny" plays.

All the CDs you used to hide under your mattress are now the "they don't write them like this anymore" standards, but the proliferation of this format proves the timelessness of sounds like G-Funk, crunk, boom-bap, and Golden Age hip-hop.

As of now, there's not much to set one station apart from the other, and each could stand to break format here and there to stand out. With the pair of stations currently vying for the same demographic of listeners, which one comes out on top? We decided to run down the stats on each to see: