We Bump Radio

A local online hip-hop program pulled the plug just as they were gaining momentum

In August 2014, Ken "K-Rock" Erwin and Shontaye "Def Shon" Lucas decided to dedicate a full hour of hip-hop and R&B programming to urban music made in San Diego. They played rap classics every now and then, but for the most part the show was all about the local scene. They christened their new weekly online program the Motor Mouth Show, and it was building momentum -- then they pulled the plug.

The reason was Erwin's Play It Again segment, during which he would spin songs from hip-hop's golden era "in an effort to make sure that young cats remembered where this art form came from,” Erwin said. But after playing Kool G Rap's "Fast Life," the duo said they received an email alleging violations of licensing laws. After receiving a second email, Erwin and Lucas put the show on hold, and Erwin pulled the archives off the Internet.

The pair isn't too fazed by the setback; in fact they almost seem empowered by it. Erwin explained it this way: "As much as it pained me to have to take them down, it felt good that a little local radio [station] in SD was making waves and getting recognized, even by a huge corporate machine."

The idea for the show was based on a skit that Erwin, who doubles as a rapper, recorded for a mixtape. The skit developed into We Bump Radio and eventually morphed into the Motor Mouth Show. On Saturday nights, from 8 to 9 p.m., they live-streamed the program, playing songs from Erwin's personal collection.

Now this is all that's left, their 2015 We Bump Radio awards show. The pair intends to relaunch and is hoping to expand into a 24-hour format -- from Vokab Kompany to Black Mikey to Boon League to Jayo Felony, Erwin said, "Man, we play everybody!"

J. Smith, aka 1019, is a San Diego native, rap fan and one half of the rap duo Parker & the Numberman. You can follow him on Instagram at 1019_the_numberman or on Twitter.

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