Photo by James BunoanIn today's world of global consumerism, you can't find too many pockets of civilization where hip-hop hasn't made an impression. That includes the O to the C, where throngs of urban white kids follow a culture that may be far outside of their experience but is still close to their hearts.
Even white kids know it's all about being real—being true to the art form. And you just can't get more organic than a college radio show pushing hip-hop, like the kids at Cal State Fullerton's Sol of Hip-Hop. Broadcast on Titan Internet Radio out of the basement of the university's Pollak Library, Sol of Hip-Hop focuses on the basic elements of hip-hop culture. Host and producer Nate Goodly (radio name: Nate G) started the show three years ago while still an undergraduate and continues to oversee it between his grad-school classes.
"In the past three years, I've interviewed Gang Starr, DJ Quik, Brand Nubian, Phife Dog [from A Tribe Called Quest], and a lot of the pioneers going back to the '60s and '70s—brothers like George Clinton and Roy Ayers," says Goodly. "We've also interviewed cats like Grandmaster Caz and Grand Wizard Theodore."
Contrasting OC's rep of being a vast hip-hop wasteland, Goodly finds the local scene anything but barren. "In Orange County, I like the fact that there's a House of Blues here," he says. "OC has a scene jumping off; you just have to look for it. You can find great hip-hop shows. The music is universal. There's no one area where it's not."
Goodly grew up on hip-hop in San Bernardino and brought the music with him to the Fullerton station. He hooked up with some like-eared "sol" brothers and recruited them for DJ stints: Patrick Judabong (DJ Buddhabong), Eric Nagashima (DJ Naga) and Matt Daigle (The Earl), as well as Jake Boogie, who shares mic time with Goodly.
Since its start-up, The Sol of Hip-Hop has been the No. 1 show on Titan Internet Radio, supporting local concerts and bringing artists to perform on campus. Goodly has even been resourceful enough to obtain sponsorships from such local hip-hop clothing lines as Cerritos-based Mixwell, which also—of course—outfits Goodly and his crew with free gear.
"We try to play all styles of hip-hop," says Goodly. "It's not underground; it's not commercial —it's just quality. We play classic hip-hop breaks every week [in a segment called] 'Sol Stax,' and we play the strongest joints of today with the strongest rhymes and the strongest production."
Goodly's faves include Pete Rock, the Roots, Common, Talib Kweli, Rakim, Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane. He can't wait for the new Gang Starr and Rakim joints to drop later this year. Good thing he has a radio show so he can get that new music first. And for the most part free—because college sure ain't.
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