As predicted by TheRoot.com in 2008, Black Radio has begun its decline. Arbitron’s flawed new Portable People Meter (PPM) rating system has had a direct and negative effect radio ratings as well as the bottom line for African American and Hispanic Radio stations.
On April 29th, PPM claimed its latest victim, as we said goodbye to 98.7 Kiss FM in New York City, the legendary radio station which played a pivotal role in bringing hip-hop from the streets to the mainstream. Mix shows with groundbreaking DJ’s like Kool DJ Red Alert and Chuck Chillout introduced America to hip-hop pioneers and new comers alike, giving rise to what we know today as the mix-tape. During hay days of Kiss FM, hip hop fans would stay glued to their radios to record the latest live Red Alert or Chuck Chillout mix show on cassette tapes which they then blared incessantly from gigantic boom boxes on street corners and front stoops. The station that introduced scratching and break beats a world stage before the days of the internet and viral videos can be credited with treating hip-hop enthusiast and its artists to the only airtime afforded the genre in its infancy.
In addition to the many artists who caught their first break on 98.7 Kiss FM, the station has also been home to a number of nationally know radio personalities including Wendy William, Michael Baisden and Spider Webb to name a few. Thirty years later we bid fairwell to 98.7 Kiss FM. Although we are have been forced to close this chapter in hip hop history, the legend and the music lives on.