Weekly Charts

WKNC 88.1 FM Hip Hop/Underground 3/21/17

1 CHILDISH GAMBINO “Redbone” [Single] 
2 RUN THE JEWELS Run The Jewels 3 – Run The Jewels
4 LIL WAYNE No Ceilings 2
5 KAZI “Demons” [Single] – Below System
6 HEAD ICE Ave Champ
7 J. COLE Neighbors
10 AKONIXX Work (Riri) 

Weekly Charts

WKNC 88.1 FM Hip Hop/Underground 2/7/17

1 RUN THE JEWELS Run The Jewels 3 – Run The Jewels
2 FLATBUSH ZOMBIES 3001: A Laced Odyssey – Glorious Dead
3 N A CYNZE Ni**a Audit
4 10ISEE"S.O.S.“ [Single]
5 TAB ONE What Happened
6 MINDSONE AND DJ IRON "Follow The Light” [Single] – Ill Adrenaline
7 ROYCE DA 5’9" I Got the Keys (Freestyle) 
8 J. COLE Neighbors 
9 HORSESHOE GANG Anti-Trap Music
10 YOUNG THUG No, My Name Is Jeffery

Festival Coverage

Bonnaroo: Best performances of 2016

Bonnaroo has come and passed this year, but for those of you who didn’t go, or even those of you that did, I’ve compiled my two cents on the best of the best out of each genre of artist that performed this year.

Let’s start with electronic, my expectations were set pretty high with RL Grime, and he definitely delivered. His show was unreal, playing old stuff, new stuff, hard stuff, some intermediary softer stuff, all with a perfectly programmed light show which was mindblowingly perfect. Although I may be biased because I absolutely love some festival trap. Griz was also amazing, despite his mid-day set. 

As for the more alternative-tinged pop shows, my personal favorite had to be Halsey, who is just a great performer with catchy and well written songs. She had a huge crowd, and involved them often, interacting with them frequently, and giving it her all during the performance.  A close second was Two Door Cinema club, who also killed their performance.

As for rap, you probably won’t expect my pick, but it was Chance the Rapper. This guy wasn’t even billed on the lineup, but he showed up to multiple shows as well as doing his own thing on Sunday at the Silent Disco. If I wasn’t kinda cheating by picking him, I would definitely go with J Cole, because his set was constant fire the entire time, I had to leave close to the end of it, but I could hear him as well as the crowd from anywhere in the campgrounds.

Also here’s a quick list of honorable mentions, who weren’t the best of the best, but were still certainly great performances:


Cashmere Cat


Ellie Goulding

Third Eye Blind

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Snoop Dog 

Keep an eye out for posts by my co-host Will, who was also covering the festival, I think he’ll be posting some awesome pictures we took at the festival soon!

Band/Artist Profile



This can also be read in here in Technician.

Last month I got the chance to go up to my hometown of New York City and interview an up-and-coming artist from Brooklyn who goes by LIVEFREERIZE, or Rize for short. Rize’s music is a smooth blend of traditional rap lyrics with modern production provided mostly by his producer Chvlly. If you’re tired of the same old trap rapping played on commercial radio and the underwhelming resurgence of backpack rap, LIVEFREERIZE is definitely someone to give a listen to. His music exists somewhere between the multiple sub-genres that populate modern hip hop. And because it doesn’t adhere to a certain label, it comes across as organic and relatable. You’ll never hear two Rize songs that sound the same, which is a breath of fresh air in this transitional period in hip hop culture, where artists are either only rapping about selling drugs they’ve never seen, spending money they don’t have, or waxing poetic about ex-girlfriends. It’s music made for real people. Think J. Cole, but not nearly as polite.

On top of being a creative and talented rapper, Rize is a cool dude in general. He’s a man’s man who’s been around the block a few times in a few different cities. Brooklyn is what he considers his home base, but he’s spent time in Newark, Chicago, Oakland, and even Durham where he has family. This exploration of different areas of the country has exposed him to music scenes outside of New York’s, which is uncommon for many rising rappers. A lot of up-and-coming rappers (especially NY-based ones), stick to their hometown sound, and in today’s genre bending environment, that mentality limits hip hop hopefuls. Rize has seen this, and acknowledges that the only way for New York hip hop to reclaim its throne in the rap kingdom is by approaching the art from a different angle.

Rize’s wise beyond his years mentality shines through in his music. It’s well balanced and fun, and he has a passion for performing live, which is the key to success. I’m very confident that with Rize’s sound, he will be an artist that you’ll see breaking into the mainstream a year from now. Stay tuned to WKNC where we’ll be playing some of his tracks during our Underground segments, Saturday to Monday nights from 8PM to 5AM. Also stay tuned to our Podcast, where we will have our interview posted soon. You can find Rize on Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud with LIVEFREERIZE.

Festival Coverage

DJ Iron Mic at SXSW


The final night of the festival brought monster performances all over the city of Austin. If one super power would be useful during SX, it would be astral projection, because there is seriously no way to see everything you want.

Redman got the night started right at Moody Theatre with one of the best performances of the night. The aging rapper still rocks a crowd harder than most, and had the audience jumping and screaming curse words at him.

G-Eazy followed him with a performance that was good, but not as good as Red’s.

Joey Bada$$ stormed the stage with his Pro Era crew and ran the crowd through hits from his new album B4.DA.$$. He led the audience in a moment of silence for his fallen Pro Era cofounder Capital Steez, then exploded into the single that started it all, “Survival Tactics.”

J. Cole hit the stage, reppin North Carolina to the fullest, and sending every females in attendance into hysterics.

The night ended at The Belmont, where Ghostface Killah and Raekwon celebrated the 20th anniversary of their classic album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. They performed the whole record back to front for the fans. It was an epic performance that was a once in a lifetime show for any Wu head.

Here is DJ Iron Mic’s last day in Austin for South by Southwest. You can see some more pictures on our Instagram.

Weekly Charts

Top 10 hip hop albums on WKNC last week

The top 10 hip hop albums played in our Underground format this past week:

1. J Cole – Lights Please
2. XV – Life Vs. Living
3. KRS – One and Buckshot – Survival Skills
4. Perfekt and Chance – She’s Dat Gurl
5. Saigon – “Believe It” [Single]
6. Slaughterhouse – The One
7 . Charlie Smarts – Bonanza
8. Dirty Money –Angels [Single]
9. So Supreme – Sha Stimuli
10. Pittsburgh Slim – “Girls Kiss Girls” [Single]