What up yall.  Happy Monday.  This Friday, the Strictly Hip-Hip radio show celebrates its 23rd anniversary live from the campus of Morgan State.  Yours truly will be co-hosting the first leg of the 24 hour marathon.  Who am I to the show?  I am friend to a few of the hosts and a huge fan.  I am literally a friend of the show.  I feel like I owe the show a lot.  I went to high school on an army base (whoooooa Meade High) so I had a few friends from all over, including some New York heads that put me up on the mixtape game.  I was listening to regular radio stuff up until that point, but once the door of backpack/underground Hip-Hop was opened I was all in.  I was a big fan of the S & S tapes in particular.  The way I found Strictly Hip Hop was complete serendipity.  I was just playing with the radio dial and heard a very familiar boom-bap on the left end of the dial; they were playing Rappaz R. N. Dainja, a KRS joint from his self titled album.  Not a joint I would hear on V-103 or 92Q, I was like “WTF they doing play this on the radio”?  They had me at hello.  The hosts Sam & Kil, had a segment called hit em in the head where they would debut new music, usually underground, and very dope.  I found out about Eminem, Canibus, DMX, Big Pun, and numerous other dope emcees form that segment.   I would tape that every week on my little boom box in the basement until I had a 90min Maxell full of heat that most folks hadn’t heard.  Who doesn’t like to have new stuff first?  It got to the point that I was puttin’ my New York homies up on new music.

After high school, when Akh became the host, my interaction with the show changed.  I was drinking most Friday nights and usually on the way from a club or party.  On the way home, somebody in the car, usually me would say “Yo, cut on 88”.  The club let out was around 1:30-2:00, so on the way home the Test Bin segment was usually on.  That’s when I found out:   a. there were A LOT of local rappers b. Baltimore wasn’t shy about expressing their opinion.  I remember one night, Baltimore emcee Norm Scola was debuting a new joint and doing an interview on Strictly.  I remember being half a pint of Notty Head in thinking, man I can out rap him(I could), I’m calling in and challenging the dude to a battle over the phone, and I did.  He was like yeah yeah, catch me out at a show or something, blowing me off but I just knew I was gonna catch him while I was out with i.l.l.f.a.m. (those who know, know).

The first time I was up at the station, was for the anniversary a few years ago.  My peoples, Matth, had been invited to spit in the Strictly Anniversary Cypher.  He crushed it, and I realized I knew Ahk from somewhere else.  I made new friends that day and firmed up a friendship with the show that, at the time, had already spanned over 15 years.  I’ve had the chance to sit on panels on the show, and also co-host a couple of times.  So when I got the email to co-host a part of the anniversary this year I was honored.  Each day this week on the blog I will feature short interviews some of the past hosts, talking about what Strictly means to them.  I hope yall will enjoy and tune in this Friday night (technically Saturday) at midnight for the Strictly Hip Hop 23rd Anniversary 24 hour celebration.  Check it out locally on 88.9 FM, or anywhere at weaa.org or on the TuneIn app on all androids or iPhones.  All that being said, if you think clear channel programmed radio is a good way to hear quality music…Your Opinion is Wrong.  Peace