Hip-hop fans in the the Minneapolis/St. Paul area have a new radio station to tune into. Go Media has launched Go 95.3, a 'contemporary hip-hop' station featuring DJ and personality Mr. Peter Parker as Music Director and drive-time host. Parker had long been in the market as a DJ at the now defunct rap/hip-hop station B96 that went off the air in 2010.
Parker was known for infusing independent music and interviews into his playlists and shows while also running a longstanding freestyle series. Parker created longstanding relationships with local acts like Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and Doomtree while hosting several stages for Rhymesayer's Soundset Festival throughout the years. After his departure from B96, Parker spent time at stations in Clevland (notably during LeBron James' return), the DC/Maryland area and hosting a show on Shade 45 for SiriusXM Radio. Parker, originally a Boston native, has an extensive amount of past interviews which can be found at his 'Parker Vision' YouTube channel. As a mixtape DJ he has produced and hosted mixtapes for acts like Big Sean, J. Cole, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, and more.
Parker spoke to Twin Cities publication City Pages about the station's format, specifically highlighting Chicago-based independent artist Chance The Rapper and radio airplay.
"Where we're changing the game kind of is, we're a traditional rhythmic stations, but we're leaning backpack, boom-bap, indie hip-hop. So we're going to be playing local music once or twice an hour, we're going to be playing artists like Chance the Rapper, Action Bronson, Mac Miller, Schoolboy Q, Vince Staples, but we're also playing Rihanna, Drake, Rick Ross, The Weeknd .... We're playing a little Bieber, a little Selena Gomez, a little Jason Derulo, but then we're playing all this quality, top-shelf indie stuff.
Nobody's ever done it. Chance the Rapper gets 4,000 people at Myth when he came here last time. But Chance isn't on any of the charts because he's an independent artist that doesn't have the major labels banging on the radio station doors, forcing DJs, or sometimes paying DJs, to pay records. We're kind of saying, because we're an independent, locally owned business, we have the novelty of actually playing what the people want."
Parker went onto explain how the station plans to highlight artists like 'local homegrown' Allan Kingdom and infusing the right music for a Millennial audience.
"I wanted the station to be authentic without turning people off. I could play an Atmosphere, I could play a Brother Ali, but I may come back with something a little more familiar. You know, we're trying to reach the masses with this. This isn't a niche thing. We're going to be competing in the marketplace. You know they'll be one song away from a song they'll like.
If an Allan Kingdom song comes on, and it's a little leftfield, we're gonna have image work around that that says, "Hey, this is local homegrown sound right here; this guy's a Grammy-nominated artist." I mean we're playing stuff like Aesop Rock, Dilated Peoples, we're playing some dope shit. It's kind of like double-dutch — you're jumping in and jumping out.
Action Bronson, Drake, Rihanna, it all kind of should be in the same family, but you've got a lot of older people in these stations running stuff, following protocol. We've broken all of that, and it's 100 percent attention to detail. How is this going to sound for everybody? Soundset has influenced us — 40,000 kids can't be wrong, bruh.
None of the big boys have played an Action Bronson record on the radio, and he had 4,000 people at the Cabooze last year. It's going to be an interesting, special station. There's more millennials in America than any other generation, so we listen to music differently, we interact with each other differently. This station and this formatting will reflect exactly what's happening today."
Go 95.3FM goes live in its new format at 3:00PM CST on Tuesday, January 5th. Mr. Peter Parker can be found on Twitter at @MrPeterParker.