A sign that Radio One is serious about its classic hip hop station Boom 102.9: it has hired an actual live jock who has a long past in Atlanta DJ Nabs.
He begins from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays on Monday, February 23, 2015.
Although the station doesn't have any immediate plans to add more jocks on Boom, that will be contingent on how much revenue the station will be able to pull in.
For now, the station will focus on live afternoons. Last month, in its second full ratings period, Boom drew a 0.8 share, up from 0.5 in December. This compares to a 1 share for Cumulus' OG 97.9.
He said there was a mutual meeting of the minds between him and Radio One, which owns Boom as well as gospel station Praise 102.5, R&B station Majic 107.5/97.5 and Hot 107.9.
"Boom is me," said DJ Nabs in an interview before his first show. "Boom is everything that I’ve experienced musically regarding hip hop. I bought the Sugarhill Gang record in 1979. I was 10. I grew up listening to hip-hop in the 1980s. The 1990s was my professional introduction."
DJ Nabs worked with Kris Kross back in its heyday in the early 1990s. He became So So Def’s exclusive DJ backing up Da Brat, Xscape, Jermaine Dupri and Bow Wow. He toured with Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Ciara and Michael Jackson.
He started in Atlanta radio with a mix show on V-103 before moving to what was then Hot 97.5 for three years.
His Hot show “In The Lab With DJ Nabs” became popular, along with his weekly party showcase “Old School Sundays” which was held at the then trendy club in Midtown Kaya. He worked for Hot 107.9 (formerly Hot 97.5) in the mid-2000s as well. According to his bio, he has continued over the years working the turntables and artist development. He has traveled the world doing Michael Jackson tributes since Jackson's death.
DJ Nabs was featured as a notable pioneer in southern rap music in the 2014 “VH1 Rock Docs ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game."
"I look at myself as a listener of this generation," said DJ Nabs, who is 45 and in the sweet spot of the demographic Boom is seeking. "They grew up with this music. I have an opportunity to speak for and with the audience as one of them."
To him, a radio station isn't just a jukebox. "It's a lifestyle," he said. He believes the station will go where its fans are and not just nightclubs but bowling alleys, parks, roller skating rinks and restaurants.
"I think the name is incredible," he said. "Boom is one of the dopest ideas ever."
He said he isn't focused on the competitors OG 97.9 and Old School 99.3/1010 at all. That's never been his thing. "I just want to make sure the team is strong. We'll focus on being the best we can be. That's the mindest of winners."
Operations Manager Hurricane Dave said in a press release: “When we first started having conversations about a Classic Hip-Hop format in Atlanta there was only one name that kept sticking in my mind, DJ Nabs. He lives and breathes the format. He was the second personality to do afternoon drive when the original Hot 97.5 now called Hot 107.9 was launched. So a lot of the music he'll be playing on Boom 1029 is the music he was playing on Hot back in the day."
While still a fan of vinyl, he uses Serato DJ software so he no longer has to lug around all his records. At the same time, he is psyched to see younger DJs embrace vinyl.
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