Chuck D called them “Pioneers in internet radio.”.
There was a time when you could turn on your radio and know that what you were hearing was real and authentic and selected with care by someone whose musical tastes you trusted, the DJ. The DJ was the selector a.nd you knew when they played that new artist you’d never heard before, that thought and time had gone into the choice to do so. Those days are gone, right? Or are they, in fact, on their way back? The answer is yes, if Bucktown USA and Da Beatminerz have anything to say about it.
In 1997 Beatminerz Radio changed the game. At that time DJ Evil Dee was on WQHT Hot 97’s Monday Night Flava Mix and was recognized internationally as one half of Da Beatminerz with his brother and business partner, Mr. Walt. Da Beatminerz, as a crew, were renowned internationally as a premier Hip Hop DJ and Production team. However, a true artist is never satisfied and so believing they could push the envelope further Da Beatminerz connected with the Pseudo Online Network’s 88HipHop.com channel, one of the first online Hip Hop radio stations. Internet radio was still in its technological infancy but Da Beatminerz knew they were onto something unique and unprecedented in music, particularly in Hip Hop.
On the other side of town, figuratively speaking, Cynical Smith was blazing her own trail. In 1996 she co-founded Ear to the Ground’s Hip Hop Countdown with Almitra Gasper on 105.9 Community Radio in New York City. Searching through charts and playlists every week, they would play their countdown with the heart and soul of those who truly love Hip Hop. Her efforts did not go unacknowledged. Ear to the Ground’s Hip Hop Countdown caught the attention of DJ Evil Dee and when 88HipHop was born so began a partnership based on a deep love of Hip Hop. In 1998 they took it a step further with livestreaming in its earliest versions. You could now watch the DJ while they played your favorite artists and music - and Da Beatminerz, Cynical Smith and Beatminerz Radio changed forever the interaction between Hip Hop, radio and the internet. Running for 3 years, what they were doing then is, to this day, discussed in tech and radio circles as innovating ahead of its time. Pseudo Online Network, 88HipHop and Beatminerz Radio were integral in laying a foundation for the future of internet radio and Hip Hop.
When the show ended in 2000, Cynical Smith and Da Beatminerz remained close friends and colleagues. Cynical Smith began to explore the medium of film as a documentarian and partnered with General Steele of iconic Hip Hop duo, Smif-N-Wessun, to build Bucktown USA, a film and video production company and record label. DJ Evil Dee and Mr. Walt continued to break ground musically with Beatminerz releases on Rawkus Records, stacking up production credits from projects with various artists and a steady stream of classics gifted to Hip Hop lovers. In 2002, DJ Evil Dee decided to focus his energies on passing along his considerable expertise and skills as one of the first instructors at the highly respected Scratch Academy upon its opening.
Fast forward to 2009, with technology perhaps finally able to keep step with their vision, Da Beatminerz reconnected with Cynical Smith and relaunched Beatminerz Radio with a new stable of DJ’s via Ustream Network. In the span of approximately 3 years they have amassed over 150,000 listeners on average internationally due to their honesty, conviction and love of Hip Hop that was evident and paramount in every broadcast.
Now, building on the decades of radio, Hip Hop and production experience between them, Cynical Smith and Da Beatminerz envision the next step. With renewed inspiration to empower the DJ, they’re once again seeking to provide that platform for artists like they were able to do early on in their own careers. Presenting a new broadcast facility, a new roster of DJ’s and hosts, and a new partnership between Bucktown USA and Da Beatminerz combined with the same dope Hip Hop, love, passion and dedication that made them Hip Hop innovators in the first place, Beatminerz Radio is back and ready to change the game.
The DJ roster reads like a winning team: DJ Evil Dee, Mr. Walt, DJ Esquire, DJ SimE Auto, ChumZilla, DJ Erika B, DJ GetLive, DJ Snatch1, PF Cuttin, Crazy DJ Bazarro, DJ Law, DJ Redboy, DJ Lickashot, DJ Flash, Mishigan (ReggaeBoyz) and that’s just getting started. Upping the stakes from 40 hours/week of programming to 84 hours of planned programming, the new Beatminerz Radio is poised to compete for the ear of the Hip Hop lover and listener with the best of them.
Welcome, once again, to Beatminerz Radio: The Home of the DJ.