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As an avid enjoyer of rap and hip-hop, I’m always looking to find new and old artists I haven’t heard about.
In addition to online forums and streaming platforms, radio stations can be a great way to find new rap music you haven’t heard of before.
In this post, we’ll list some of our top picks for the best rap radio stations in major cities and states across the United States.
In this post, we’ll provide our top picks for
- The best rap radio stations in New York
- The best rap radio stations in Los Angeles
- The best rap radio stations in San Francisco
- The best rap radio stations online
So without further ado, let’s get started.
The Best Rap Radio Stations in New York
To start off our list, let’s take a look at some of the best hip-hop radio stations in the Big Apple.
Considering how diverse the people in New York are, you’ll find rap radio stations of all sorts; ranging from ones that play old-school bangers to ones that are more interested in up-and-coming artists.
The top hip-hop radio stations in New York include
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Hot 97 – WQHT-FM
This radio station is based in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Lower Manhattan and makes the bold statement of being the “first rap radio station in the world”.
For most hip-hop artists, it’s the dream to have their songs streamed on this radio station.
The great thing about it is that it can be streamed online as well if you’re not in New York.
When you hop on to the radio station at any given time, you’ll find yourself faced with an eccentric mix of old-school hip-hop as well as new trendsetters in the industry.
For years, this radio station has played a major role in defining the contemporary sound of hip-hop. If you’re looking to find new hip-hop artists to party to, you should definitely consider checking it out.
Power 105.1 – WWPR-FM
Owned by iHeart Media, Power 105.1 – WWPR-FM’s transmitter is located on the top of the Empire State Building.
Even if you haven’t ever tuned into the radio station, you may have still heard of its famous flagship show, The Breakfast Club. The show is hosted by Charlemagne Tha God, Angela Lee, and DJ Envy.
To start off, you’ll easily be able to find many new hip-hop artists by listening to this radio station. Furthermore, you can also expand your tastes into other facets of music with African-American roots, including RnB, Jazz, and Soul.
The Best Rap Radio Stations in Los Angeles
Now that we’ve looked at a couple of radio stations in New York, let’s take a trip to the west coast to see what L.A. has to offer.
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Our top picks for rap radio stations in Los Angeles are
98.2 The Beat L.A.
To start off, we have 98.2 The Beat L.A. created by DJ King Assassin.
This is a radio station that has a strong emphasis on classic hip-hop, and rap as well as a soft-soft spot for underground hip-hop and obscure hits.
The radio station is responsible for bringing some big names into the spotlight including Megan Thee Stallion, 7 SOLO, and more.
At any given time when you tune into 98.2 The Beat L.A., you can expect to be listening to any of the following sub-genres:
- Underground hip-hop
- Classic Boom-bap
- Mumble rap
- Cloud rap
- Horror rap
- Conscious hip-hop
KJLH Radio is a part of Taxi Productions, which happens to be Stevie Wonder’s company. Hence, it’s no surprise that the benchmark for the music that gets played on this particular radio station is extremely high.
Not only will you be able to hear great hip-hop and rap on this radio station but you’ll also be treated to a variety of other genres as well. These genres include
- Classic Neo-Soul
And a whole lot more.
The Best Rap Radio Stations in San Francisco
The Bay area has always had vibrant and enthusiastic hip-hop culture and its radio stations reflect it clearly.
Here are our top picks for the best rap radio stations in San Francisco:
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Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station
This is another radio station that’s owned by iHeart Media.
While the radio station does play a ton of hip-hop, that’s mainly because hip-hop’s currently the zeitgeist in the music industry right now. Regardless though, one is still able to find a diverse selection of rap music on this radio station.
Wild 94.9 is definitely a more mainstream choice and if you’re someone that enjoys underground music, then this might not be the right choice for you.
However, if you want a healthy mix of hip-hop alongside the current popular music that’s making waves in the industry, then it’s definitely worth tuning into.
106 KMEL, “San Francisco’s Home for Hip Hop and RnB.”
To give you an idea of the legendary status of this hip-hop radio station, here’s a list of artists that got their big break on it:
- MC Hammer
- Mariah Carey
- Tupac Shakur
These three names should be enough to let you know of the prestigious status of this hip-hop radio station. Not only do they play the best of the best but they also have an eye for scouring out new, exciting talent in the industry as well.
As a result, what you get is a healthy mix of reliable, established artists, as well as fringe, picks coming from newer artists that are pushing the envelope.
Also, as the slogan states, it’s not merely a home for hip-hop but also a home for RnB. The two genres have always been closely interlinked and if you like RnB as well, then this is a great radio station for you to tune into.
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The Best Radio Stations Online
If you’re a fan of hip-hop, you’ll most likely already know about Cadillac Music but if you don’t, let us tell you that it’s an online radio station established by none other than Snoop Dogg.
Many of the songs that you hear on the radio station come from curated playlists that are created by Snoop Dogg himself. Hence, you get a ton of gangster rap and hard-hitting bangers on the radio station.
That’s not all though as you also get a healthy dose of much more soulful cuts to bring some balance to the mix.
In addition to being a great place to listen to hip-hop, this radio station also gives you a healthy dose of interviews, outtakes, and news from the hip-hop world as well.
It’s definitely a radio station to always have on in the background if you’re someone that’s deeply interested in the daily goings-on of the rap industry.
If you’re a lover of hip-hop, there are a ton of radio stations for you to choose from, both locally and online.
They can be a great way to discover new music and get the latest news about your favorite artists.
What’s your favorite rap radio station? Tell us in the comments section below.
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