From Audible Treats:
Powerhouse KMEL Announces The Bay Area's 10 Freshmen
Top Urban Radio Station in California's Bay Area Lauds Up and Coming Emcees
(June 4, 2010 - Brooklyn, NY) KMEL 106.1 FM, one of the nation's premier Urban Contemporary stations serving over 1 million listeners in California's Bay Area, released their first annual list of the Bay's fastest rising hip-hop stars. The list, patterned after XXL Magazine's widely celebrated annual list of the nations best new rappers, is the brainchild of DJ Amen, one of the station's on-air talents.
The full KMEL Freshmen 10 list in no particular order is:
1 NIO THA GIFT - Richmond http://www.myspace.com/niothagift0 .
MOE GREEN - Vallejo http://myspace.com/moethedreamer .
DaVinci - San Francisco http://www.myspace.com/jdavinci .
DB THE GENERAL - Oakland http://www.myspace.com/dbthageneral .
JAY ANT - Hercules http://www.myspace.com/jayantofdiligentz .
P CHILD - Richmond http://www.myspace.com/pchild510 .
TRUTHLIVE - Santa Rosa http://myspace.com/truthlive .
ROACH GIGZ - San Francisco http://www.myspace.com/roachgigz .
SU! - Richmond http://www.myspace.com/iamsu1 .
COUSIN FIK - Vallejo http://www.myspace.com/cousinfik .
When asked about the criteria for choosing artists, DJ Amen commented, "We searched for artists who, despite having little to no radio play, have a strong presence and the potential to be the next big thing locally, and hopefully beyond." With growing national recognition for artists like DaVinci and international buzz for artists like Nio Tha Gift, KMEL's choices echo a growing consensus from the global hip-hop community on who will be the next generation of stars from Northern California.
KMEL has been instrumental in launching the careers of other Bay Area greats like Tupac, MC Hammer, E-40, and Too $hort. The station's Freshmen list is likely to follow in this tradition, by tipping off record executives and media outlets nationwide to Bay Area acts they should be aware of. DJ Amen will host a media mixer on June 17th at SOM in San Francisco to celebrate the list and allow the press to become more familiar with these rising stars
Bay Area based record labels Interdependent Media and SWTBRDS, who both have artists on the coveted list are pleased with KMEL's commitment to supporting local talent. Says Interdependent Media’s Ian Davis, "The Bay Area has always had a strong rap scene and it is always growing. Every so often we have a wave of new artists who come out and leave their mark. This latest batch selected by KMEL, including our artists Moe Green and TRUTHLiVE, are some of the most exciting, creative, and talented artists to hit the scene in some time.” SWTBRDS artist DaVinci adds, “To have a major radio station like KMEL support me is immensely humbling and motivating because we are as indie as it gets, we don¹t have deep pockets; we just have ears for making good music and market ourselves well.”
While the labels that represent The Freshmen see the marketing and commercial potential of inclusion on the elite list, some artists are simply proud to receive the honor. “Its a blessing. You remember listening to 106 when you were just a kid, and then to hear yourself on that same station... its unexplainable. I just appreciate people like DJ Amen, the people at KMEL, and everybody else involved for taking notice to what I got going,” exclaimed San Francisco based rapper Roach Gigz.
The Freshmen list is another benchmark for KMEL which celebrated 20 years of urban programming in 2007. The Clear Channel Communications company was instrumental in popularizing the Bay Area's "hyphy" movement in the early 2000’s, and is the longest tenured urban station in California. Fans can request their favorite Freshman by logging on to http://106kmel.com/pages/equest.html .
DJ Amen notes a sampler containing music from all the Freshmen will soon be available on the following sites:
KMEL - http://106kmel.com .
DJ AMEN - http://DJamen.com .
DJ BIG VON - http://Bigvon.com .
Watch the video for "Ride" from Moe Green's Upcoming album Rocky Maivia here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc9-XW0ah1A .
See DaVinci's video for "What You Finna Do" off his LP The Day The Turf Stood Still -http://vimeo.com/966613 .
From his LP Patience, hear TRUTHLIVE'S "Catalyst For Chance" Feat. Ras Kass and Finale - http://kmel.com/pages/equest.html .
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