WKNC UNDERGROUND 88.1 FM
You may have noticed that this semester the Nubian Message has been partnering with WKNC to provide some of its content, and a few older readers might even remember that this is not the first time it has happened. For those of you that don’t know, WKNC 88.1 FM is North Carolina State University’s (our) student-run radio station. It was founded in 1922 under WLAC with a 2,000 watt transmitter. The station underwent many changes but the call letters weren’t changed to WKNC until 1958. WKNC has always focused only playing the newest and best music and strives to be a paragon for
music taste in a sea to top 40 bull$&#*. Catering to a mix of musical genre’s, 88.1 has provided quality music to the community, but needed a push to support more generically ‘Black’ stylings. Magic 88 was the first ‘Black’ music format played by WKNC. It had little support, unfavorable hours, and because of this became subject to controversy. Students protested the lack of Black DJs and accessible airtimes for their format. As a result of the pressure on the 1992-1993 general manager, Rebecca Reising,
Underground was formed. May 1993, five months after Black students protested Steve Crisp’s column in the Technician resulting in the first printing of the Nubian. Underground and the Nubian Message’s beginnings are a result of the same socially aware and politically motivated class. And thus, in a sense, we share the same birthday. Happy Birthday.
Underground has since been refined to playing just hip hop, and currently staffs 10 DJ’s. If you want true underground music there really is no other station to turn to. We play what Chuck D, KRS One, and others decried will not be played on the radio. In addition, we also like to spotlight local talent.
This is a great area for hip hop, just check out Kooley Highs new video for their track Skyview for a taste.North Carolina is definitely getting some respect and established artists put us on the map. Just going through backlogs of this newspaper I found documentation of freestyle competitions held at Talley Ballroom. The competition was featuring then a young upstart named Phonte, who is now a Grammy nominated and well known hip hop artist, and emceed by DJ Flash. We give people a solid out from the commercial, so they can listen to the newest tracks and solid throwback jams.