March 18, 2015

Art by daddyboskeazy

Last month, the conglomerate FKA Clear Channel unceremoniously knocked “Hot 92.3 FM” off the airwaves. If you don’t live in LA, the station served as the city’s lone home for old-school funk and R&B. It offered a minor paradise for lovers of The Gap Band, Rose Royce, Rick James, and Lakeside. It also doubled as the on-air home of Art Laboe, 89-year old love song lothario of LA’s Latin diaspora — a municipal treasure as crucial as sunshine, palm trees, and Vin Scully.

iHeartRadio swapped the funk for “The Real 92.3,” which promises “real hip-hop,” but in actuality features a playlist almost entirely composed of Drake ft. Drake and Disclosure ft. a silk scarf. The move had me mildly nostalgic for the old 92.3, The Beat, a beloved rap and R&B station that’s been fated to the Arbitron in the sky for over a decade. In particular, I remembered it’s best program, the Ruthless Radio Show, hosted by none other than Eric “Motherfuckin’ Wright or Eazy-E (it’s all the same).

Ruthless Radio was essentially why Marconi invented the medium. It featured special interviews, rare freestyles, and three hours of Eazy shit talking. I would pay a king’s ransom for any cassette dubs out there. If you have them, holler. Thankfully, at least one of the episodes is now up on YouTube. Behold a 45-minute program featuring Eazy interviewing Roger Troutman AND a preposterously entertaining phone call from Daz, who called up Eazy to air him out. I’d explain more, but you just have to listen.

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