of all the on-air talents making their debuts on Toronto urban radio station FLOW 93.5 FM this week, none is more enmeshed in Toronto hiphop than Adrien King.For 13 years, King, aka DJX, was at the centre of the city's hiphop scene. His Fantastic Voyage/Power Move show, which ran Saturday afternoons on campus/community station CKLN, was the conduit through which the music in Toronto flowed and grew, spinning everything from new international cuts to singles pressed up by local MCs that morning. He hosted blistering on-air freestyle battles between upstart rhymers and also presented serious discussions about the state of hiphop culture.
It makes perfect sense that King has moved from CLKN to FLOW, but Trauma Unit, his new show running weeknights from 7 pm to midnight, won't be the Power Move part two.
He only has partial control over the music that gets played, so the loose, on-the-fly feel that characterized the Power Move won't be duplicated commercially. Rather, King's new show includes a battle of the beats, a turntable session and a dating segment called the Late Night Hookup, where King plays matchmaker.
The obvious question, of course, is what a black commercial radio station will mean to Toronto hiphop and soul music. With live broadcasters just hitting the air and the playlist still prohibitively restrictive, it's too early to tell just yet, but from his vantage point, albeit a biased one, King's already excited.
"The impact of this is going to be massive," he says. "Kids in school who want to do urban radio now have a home. For the 13 years I was at CKLN, I just kept wondering where it was going. I loved my show, but there wasn't anywhere for me to take it further.
"Artists will have a home now, and a place to be heard, not just slipped in between Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. That will get people in the studio, and hopefully, it will get the labels signing artists."