Best Community-Oriented Radio Show

Hard Knock Radio

Hard Knock Radio, affectionately known as HKR, offers one of the more interesting formats around: an engaging, multifaceted mix of news, interviews, commentary, culture, and music. The HKR team — executive producer Weyland Southon, rotating hosts tsaday abeba, Anita Johnson, and Davey-D, with special correspondent Nishat Kurwa — tend to focus on core issues of the hip-hop generation: education, the prison-industrial complex, race and cultural identity, art as politics, and police brutality. But HKR also traverses much broader cross-cultural and cross-generational territory, making the show relevant to just about everyone. Since debuting in the summer of 1999, HKR’s subject matter has ranged from Free Mumia rallies to gay Muslims, from youth in Palestine refugee camps to profiles and interview of artists, musicians, poets, and filmmakers. Past interviewees have included DJ Shadow, Tricky, Femi Kuti, Saul Williams, Mira Nair, and Piri Thomas. The show has lent crucial airtime to the likes of Mystic, Deuce Eclipse, Paris, Prophets of Rage, Spearhead, Martin Luther, Zion-I, and Blackalicious. Though HKR isn’t afraid to touch hot-button issues, neither is it averse to lighthearted fun. More of a socio-cultural tapestry than a die-hard political soapbox, HKR proves that drive-time doesn’t have to be downtime.

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