Since she debuted on Ice Cube’s “It’s A Man’s World” back in 1990, YoYo has been a strong, female voice in the hyper masculine West Coast rap world. The Los Angeles rapper’s pro-female, pro-education musical platform extended into her successful solo career, which included her appearance with MC Lyte and Queen Latifah on Brandy’s smash “I Wanna Be Down” remix, as well as the launch of the IBWC (Intelligent Black Women’s Coalition).
As she prepares for the launch of “YoYo’s School Of Hip Hop,” in South Central Los Angeles -- a seven-week summer program that will teach students hip-hop dance and how to write raps -- we sat down with YoYo to get her Top 5 West Coast DJs, in no particular order.
“He’s legendary in West Coast music. Of course he started as a young guy on KDAY. Then he went to The Beat and back to KDAY. KDAY, for us, it’s really our foundation for our music being heard on the radio.
He was so significant to the West Coast artists because of his fearless approach, how he embraced artists on the Left Coast. He was and has always been major and the fact that he was so young and so gung-ho and still is today.”
“He’s on Power 106 [in Los Angeles.] Just his transition alone from bodyguard to legendary radio DJ to film to television is incredible. From where he came from in music to where he is today with his power at that station is remarkable.
A lot of artists, especially West Coast artists, don’t get that much love from West Coast DJs, which is a shame and somehow he still finds a way to fit artists in and to make them relevant.”
“He’s a DJ, producer. I’m so proud of him. I really love him because as a DJ and as a producer, it was always about the music and never about him. It’s really hard to find DJs who don’t want to be a star. That’s what I get from him.”
“Davey D has always been major on the West Coast because of his political points of views. He was always on the frontlines for the power to the people, and for the education of hip-hop. He’s not only a DJ, but a great journalist as well. I’ve always loved him. He promotes artists that really don’t get that much shine and that’s what you love about him.
To watch him dig in the crates or write about an artist that you’re unfamiliar with, afterwards you go back and do your own homework or you go back and try to find that CD. There’s not a lot of DJs today that have that. They’re usually of the here and now and Davey D was never that. He’d make you conscious of something you were never conscious of.
He’d tell you about something whether you wanted to hear about it or not and he’s still that way. I just love him for loving hip-hop. You can just tell. It’s not all about the bling bling with him and you respect that.”
Sway & King Tech
“They’re from the Wake Up Show and you wasn’t listening to radio if you wasn’t listening to Sway and Tech. When Sway got his gig on MTV, he didn’t just run away from radio or run away from the West. He keeps it 100 and you’ve got to respect that.
Sway has always had that heart. What you see on MTV is really what we got here, before he took his show other places and got noticed in other markets. It got started here. You could always tell his love for West Coast artists, that he was digging into the artists to find more.”
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.
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