The Baka Boyz
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Nick and Eric V a.k.a. the Baka Boyz / YouTube
Legendary radio hosts and DJs Nick and Eric Vidal, a.k.a. the Baka Boyz, were recently guests on the Pensado’s Place show.
Originally from Bakersfield, California, the brothers first achieved fame in the early ’90s on Los Angeles’ Power 106. Their shows Friday Nite Flavas and World Famous Roll Call revolutionized radio in Los Angeles and helped make Power a force in hip-hop.
Around the same time, the Baka Boyz also made a name for themselves as producers, working with Los Angeles artists like The Pharcyde, Cypress Hill, House of Pain, Kid Frost, and Volume 10.
Later in their careers, the duo gave breaks to future Los Angeles radio icons Big Boy, Fuzzy Fantabulous, and DJ E-Man. The Baka Boyz continue to hold it down on the airwaves with their nationally syndicated show, the Hip-Hop Master Mix. As Pensado’s Place puts it, the duo is “radio royalty.”
Like most Pensado’s Place episodes, the Baka Boyz reflected on their careers from start to finish. They also discussed the state of terrestrial radio, their current projects, among other topics.
On how Los Angeles’ KDAY radio station inspired them:“We’d get on our two-story house on the roof with a Fisher boombox and turn it all the way up, trying to just record whatever was playing because we were blown away by what they were doing, all the music they were playing. So we’d take that tape and then we’d go to LA and go to the record store … and we’d come back with $300 worth of records for the club …”
On transforming Power 106’s newsroom into a mixroom, which transformed radio in Los Angeles:“At the time — [Power] — they didn’t have a mix room. Everybody pre-recorded mixes; it was all reel-to-reel. So Power’s Rick asked us, he’s like, ‘So you guys gotta record your mixes on reel-to-reel and turn ’em in.’ I said, ‘Nah, we don’t do that. We do live.’ He’s like, ‘What if it skips?’ I said, ‘Then it skips; it’s not the end of the world. [laughs] … We had to have the engineer retrofit the newsroom and make it a mixroom.”
On being Latin American DJs in a primarily black genre:“We’re just hip-hop DJs, and there was no color to hip-hop DJs, and we just reflected that. We were passionate about the music. We were in tune with what was going on in the streets and in the studios because we were producing at that time.”
On the current state of terrestrial radio:“[The stations] are stuck in their ways of what they wanna do and they have to recreate the wheel with radio to make it cool again cuz it’s not cool. … They think only because you listen to that station, you only listen to this kind of music … People like to listen to different things. … [The stations] want to put you in a box, and the box is broken. That mold is old; it needs to go away.”
Watch the inspiring convo below.