Monday, November 5, 2012

I live in a rap desert

Minneapolis is the whitest place you'll ever live.

That's what everyone told us, at least. Some said it disdainfully, as if we would never know diversity again. Some said it jealously, like our neighbor in Shreveport.  She was upset about the new black family on our street, and said -- are you ready for this? --

 "I wish I could move to Minnesota. Things are getting a little...dark here."

(We're glad we don't live by her anymore. The racist neighbor, not the black one.)

Yes, it is home to an albino squirrel family. But Minneapolis also has the largest Somali population outside of Somalia and a huge number of Hmong (from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand).

Let's put it this way: At Y's hospital in Shreveport, if his patient spoke a different language, he had to call a special number. From there he had two options for translators: Spanish or Mandarin. 

At his hospital here, there are over 20 in-person translators, plus a phone number that has 300 additional languages. So far Y has needed Hmong, Somali, and Russian translators... and he's accidentally called the Polynesian and Urdu translators. (Which sounds like an awkward phone call.)


Now that I've lectured you on making assumptions about the midwest, allow me to get to the real problem. Despite all of this unexpected diversity, there is no rap station. In fact, I don't think I've heard a rap song since I've been here. Even songs with rap collaborations are played on the radio sans rapper.

This is a problem for this girl, who went to high school football games only to hear the band play Juvenile's Back that Azz Up. Whose high school soundtrack could be performed by My$tikal. Who knows the dances to these hip-hop classics. Who thought it would be a good idea to spend her first weekend in college at Club 112 -- also known as One Tweezy, made famous by Jermaine Dupri in the song Welcome to Atlanta in these classic poetic lines:

it's off the heazy fo sheezy
You can find me up 
in one tweezy 

So, friends, I need to know: what's playing on your local rap station? What am I missing? Louisiana friends, if I were to go to Goldmine at 4 am, what songs would I hear? 

Please help me. 

(And if you can't help me, help those affected by hurricane Sandy.)


  1. Bahaha I love that Cupid shuffle dance. I daresay I am a pro at it.

  2. Ahh GOLDMINE! haha! I first experienced it a couple years ago when my girlfriend and I decided to have a night out while our fiance's at the time were out of town on a bachelor party. I couldn't tell you what was playing at the time (we had a couple flaming Dr. Peppers).

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  4. 96.3! I verified it with the MN raised night club going husband. I'm more of an iPod listener and the last time I went out to a bar I ended up engaged in a pushup contest with an Israeli . . . ugh. I'm awkward. Enjoy the hip-hop station!

  5. 96.3 went adult contemporary a few months ago. The djs were horrible and getting worse by the day. 101.3 is the closest you will find but even then it is a little pop.

    1. Oh - well then I recant. Go for the iPod - then you can loop Back that Azz up continuously.

  6. I love your story. And as for the second part, I cannot help you. I think it's because I'm from the midwest.

  7. Online radio, my dear. It's what I do now that I'm in a NorCal city that thinks "rap" is synonymous with Bieber's "Boyfriend" and anything by Chris Brown.

    Oddly enough, though, I listen to online radio for a station in Chicago--I didn't really even listen to rap until I moved to Illinois (but college students and Chi-City will do that to a person, I guess). AND, I found out from a friend who recently moved to Madison, WI that Big Freedia (whose video I am OBSESSED with) performed at one of their local clubs. So there's am occasional oasis in the Midwestern rap desert ;)

  8. You can't find a good spotify mix? I'd look there first since there's so many different playlists and it's easy to stream.

    Also, I barely remember my last trip to Goldmine much less the music that was played. :-)

  9. Have you checked out Doomtree, Brother Ali, Atmosphere? They are local Mpls rapper/hip hop groups. Also, the Macklemore show sold out within minutes even the second show they added... so there is rap here! 89.3 The Current does play rap, more indie-rap vs. pop-rap and they also play kinda everything. Not soley rap. I agree that in general, the radio stations here leave a lot to be desired. And I grew up here! Spotify is my oasis.