• A Look Inside the Beat Junkies’ DJ School

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    Beat Junkies

    In April, the legendary Beat Junkies crew launched a DJ school called The Beat Junkie Institute of Sound. Located in Glendale, California, the school offers fundamental and specialized DJ courses, workshops, and private lessons, all taught by members of the crew.

    The Beat Junkie Institute of Sound puts on an emphasis on the foundation of DJing. For example, students start by learning with original vinyl and then move to digital. Its state-of-the-art facility features 12 workstations, a merch store, and a “longtagon,” which is a table for group scratch sessions.

    Power 106’s DJ E-Man recently took a tour of the institute and spoke with instructors DJ Babu and Mr. Choc. While he was there, he saw a scratch session that included DJ Premier. Afterwards, E-Man spoke with Premo about what it means to be a DJ today.

    Watch the video below.

    Related: Watch DJ Premier and Miguel’s ‘2 Lovin U’ Video

  • The Samples Behind DMX’s ‘It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot’

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    Power 106‘s Wax Only series has returned with a new episode, this time to review the samples from DMX’s debut studio album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot.

    Released on May 12, 1998, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It sold over five million copies and was certified quadruple platinum in December 2000.

    It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot featured the singles “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get at Me Dog,” “Stop Being Greedy,” and “How’s It Goin’ Down.” It was produced by Dame Grease, PK, Swizz Beatz, Irv Gotti, and Lil Rob. Some notable samples on the album include Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me,” and The Bee Gees’ “Nights on Broadway.”

    Watch above to see Vin Rican go through the samples.

    Related: The Samples Behind Nas’ ‘Illmatic’

  • Emmis to Sell Power 106 to Meruelo Group

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    Power 106

    Emmis Communications has announced an agreement to sell Los Angeles’ hip-hop radio station Power 106 to an affiliate of the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million. The transaction, which is subject to closing adjustments and prorations, pending FCC and other regulatory approvals, is expected to close later this year.

    Chairman and CEO of Emmis Communications Jeff Smulyan said in the press release:

    “Power 106 has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet, but I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands … The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.”

    A Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) will begin promptly following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

    Meruelo Group’s Chairman and CEO Alex Meruelo also issued a statement:

    “The acquisition of Power 106 is a game changer for our group and our media division. As a fan and someone who has had a business relationship with this station for more than 30 years, I understand the importance of Power 106 to this community. We are committed to bringing the resources, talent and passion necessary to make this legendary brand the #1 radio station in Los Angeles.”

    The Meruelo Group, whose Meruelo Media affiliate acquired Los Angeles TV station KWHY-22 in 2011 and radio station KDAY-FM in 2014, is the largest minority-owned media group in California.

    Related: Ex-Power 106 Host Big Boy Given Green Light to Work at Rival Real 92.3

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  • Destructo Talks DJ AM, Real DJs, Blending Hip-Hop and Dance Music, and More

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    Destructo
    Destructo and Too $hort. (Photo source: Facebook)

    HARD Fest founder, DJ, and producer Destructo stopped by Power 106 on Tuesday to announce the lineup for this year’s HARD Summer festival. The Los Angeles native, who worked at the station in the ’90s, discussed a variety of topics relating to DJ culture and the convergence of hip-hop and dance music.

    The interview began with host J Cruz asking Destructo who his favorite DJs are.

    “One of my heroes as a DJ was DJ AM,” Destructo answered. “I think he was one of the first superstar DJs, so I always give him props and respect for crossing over. He was that first guy to break through in Vegas. He blended stuff like rock and rap. He’s a DJ’s DJ, a real DJ.”

    Destructo recalled his most memorable moment with AM, his performance at the first HARD Haunted Mansion in 2008.

    “[AM] had the [Daft Punk] helmet and everything and he went on [stage] and started playing every Daft Punk song,” Destructo recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh my god. Daft Punk is gonna get really mad at me.’ It kinda looked like we were like punking the audience. But then about 40 minutes in he took the helmet off and hit the Speak & Spell [that said] DJ AM.”

    Cruz followed up by asking Destructo if he thinks DJs get enough respect these days.

    “Oh yeah, 100%. I think they might be respected a little too much,” Destructo said with a laugh. “We got it so good. Be happy. Don’t take it for granted because I’d been around for 20 years when nobody liked DJs and nobody gave a f#ck about it, and now everybody’s into it. And I think a lot of DJs; they take that for granted.”

    Speaking about HARD Fest, Destructo explained how it’s different from other festivals.

    “It’s like I’m bringing [Los Angeles] to the rest of the world because I think my perspective on music is completely different than anyone else’s in electronic music,” Destructo said. “And it’s from growing up here [and] listening to this station.”

    He added:

    “I blend all kinds of weird things together that no one would think [of]. The first HARD [festival] we did [featured] Justice. 2 Live Crew played. Steve Aoki played the second one. I had N.E.R.D. We had Pharrell. And this was in 2008, and now everyone’s like, ‘Put electronic and rap together,’ and [I’m] like, ‘Where have you guys been?'”

    In a larger sense, Destructo believes hip-hop and electronic music are one in the same.

    “Rap music to me is electronic music,” Destructo said. “It’s made with the same computers and machines, it’s just got different flavor.”

    Even the meaning behind the name of his new EP, Renegade, fits in line with his open-format philosophy.

    “I feel like the people that like my music, the people who come to my shows, they’re renegades because they’re open to something new and trying something different,” Destructo said.

    Watch the full 25-minute interview below and download Destructo’s single “All Nite” featuring E-40 and Too $hort on DJcity.

    Related: HARD Summer 2017 Lineup Revealed

  • The Samples Behind Nas’ ‘Illmatic’

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    On April 19, 1994, a young Queensbridge rapper by the name of Nas released his debut album, Illmatic. Now, to honor its 23-year anniversary, Power 106’s Wax Only series has examined the samples used on the project.

    Illmatic is widely regarded as the greatest hip-hop album of all time by critics and fans alike. Wax Only host Vin Rican agrees, naming it his pick for best ever. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and eventually went platinum.

    The album was produced by some of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time, including DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, and Q-Tip. It sampled artists like Michael Jackson, The Gap Band, Average White Band, Ahmad Jamal, and Donald Byrd.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples.

    Related: The Samples Behind Eazy-E’s ‘Eazy-Duz-It’

  • The Samples Behind Eazy-E’s ‘Eazy-Duz-It’

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    Power 106 has released a new episode of Wax Only to honor the 22nd anniversary of Eazy-E‘s death. The episode looks at the samples behind the rapper’s solo debut album, Eazy-Duz-It.

    Released in 1988, “Eazy-Duz-It” peaked at No. 41 on the Billboard 200 that year and was certified double platinum in 1992. It re-entered the chart at No. 32 in 2015 following the debut of the N.W.A. biopic film, Straight Outta Compton.

    The album, which was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, features samples from artists like The Temptations, Bootsy Collins, The Bar-Kays, and The Sugarhill Gang.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples.

    Related: The Samples Behind Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

  • The Samples Behind Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

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    After much anticipation, Power 106 has dropped an episode of Wax Only that examines Kendrick Lamar‘s third studio album, To Pimp a Butterfly.

    Released on March 15, 2015, To Pimp a Butterfly debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart and won five Grammy awards. It featured the singles “Alright,” “These Walls,” and “King Kunta,” the latter of which sampled Curtis Mayfield’s “Kung Fu.” Other notable tracks were “The Blacker the Berry,” which sampled Cold Grits’ “It’s Your Thing” and “i,” which sampled The Isley Brothers’ “That Lady.”

    In addition to its many accolades, the album was recently commemorated at Harvard University’s music library. It was one of the first four hip-hop albums to be archived as part of their Classic Crates project. The other three albums honored were Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, NasIllmatic, and A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory.

    Wax Only is a series that showcases samples used on classic hip-hop albums. It’s hosted by Power 106’s Production Director, Vin Rican.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples from the album.

    Related: The Samples Behind The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Ready to Die’

  • The Samples Behind The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Ready to Die’

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    On the 20th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.’s death, Power 106‘s Wax Only series is back with a new episode to commemorate his debut album, Ready to Die.

    Wax Only is a series that showcases samples used on classic hip-hop albums. It’s hosted by Power 106’s Production Director, Vin Rican.

    Ready to Die was Biggie’s only studio album to be released during his lifetime. It featured the singles “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” and “One More Chance,” and sampled artists like Dr. Dre, James Brown, and The Isley Brothers, and Mtume. Released on Bad Boy Records, the album reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified quadruple platinum in 1999.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples from the album.

    Related: The Samples Behind Big L’s ‘The Big Picture’

  • The Samples Behind Big L’s ‘The Big Picture’

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    Power 106‘s Wax Only series has dropped a new episode, this time to review the samples from Big L’s second and final studio album, The Big Picture.

    Wax Only is a series that showcases samples used on classic hip-hop albums. It is hosted by Power 106’s Production Director, Vin Rican.

    The Big Picture was scheduled to be released in 1999, but Big L was gunned down on February 15 of that year. It was instead released posthumously on August 1, 2000. The 24-year-old New York native had been recording it at the time of his death.

    The album debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart. It sold over 72,000 copies in its first week and was certified gold three months later.

    The Big Picture featured the popular singles “Ebonics,” “Size ‘Em Up,” and “Flamboyant.” It was produced by several hip-hop legends, including DJ Premier, Lord Finesse, and Pete Rock.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples from the album.

    Related: The Samples Behind Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’

  • The Samples Behind Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’

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    Following a look at Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele earlier this week, Power 106‘s Wax Only series is back to examine Kanye West‘s debut album, The College Dropout.

    Released in 2004, College Dropout has sold over four million copies worldwide. It also received 10 Grammy nominations, winning Best Rap Album.

    The album featured five singles: “Slow Jamz,” which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, “Jesus Walks,” which won a Grammy for Best Rap Song, “Through the Wire,” “All Falls Down,” and “The New Workout Plan.”

    Wax Only is a series that showcases samples used on classic hip-hop albums. It is hosted by Power 106’s Production Director, Vin Rican.

    Watch above to see Vinny go through the samples on The College Dropout.

    Related: The Samples Behind Ghostface Killah’s ‘Supreme Clientele’