IMWIL! ended its run at WPFW 89.3FM this week with The Final Hate Awards!
“I’m never surprised when I’m asked to leave. I’m only surprised by how long I’m allowed to stay.” – Tom Porter
Goodbye to WPFW.
We did our last show October 30, 2015 and despite what was at time a tumultuous 10+ years i wanted to a leave a big thank you to WPFW. i am grateful for having met good friends there, like Dr. Mark Bolden, Luke Stewart (who also was kind enough to make sure the show ran after i had stopped going into the studio live) and DJ RBI. I was fortunate enough to share a show with DJ 2-Tone Jones and to be part of bringing a nightly hip-hop block, Decipher, to the station. Shoot, i got to watch Maimouna Youssef, Dr. Hate, M1 of Dead Prez and Head-Roc the Mayor of DC Hip-Hop all freestyle and Asheru and The Els perform live in studio! i am proud to have been part of an effort to get Mr. Tom Porter back on air, though they foolishly let him go too. i even got Dr. Todd Steven Burroughs to at times begrudgingly bring his brilliance to the air, 228! i got to do programming with one of my favorite people in the world SuGar and sit in studio listening to Katea Stitt break down the wonders of music, i even got to hear her shout out my daughters while driving them to school! Parenthetically, nothing makes pops look better than when baby girls get to hear him shouted out on the radio! i got to sit and rap with Askia Muhammad about the world and hear off-air classic arguments about music, politics and more with folks like Bob Daughtry (also foolishly let go). Of course, i did some of my earliest work there in support of the late Damu Smith whose truly humble guidance still has its impact.
i am most proud though to have done my honest best to uphold a tradition of broadcasting and conversation that has long moved me. i loved that i got to have an intro that routinely featured (and still will) Drs. James Turner and Marimba Ani, Kwame Ture, Kathleen Cleaver, Barbara Sizemore and Dr. John Henrik Clarke. And i really did (and will continue to) do my best to engage in conversations and cultural expression that assumes the need for revolution and says so, encourages it, even makes us want to do it right now. i love that we had the first (and correctly predicted last) Hate Awards Show and that i joined some of my favorite people, Drs. Quito Swan and Greg Carr, in humbling ourselves in good (but real) political fun. i love that we got to host a debate between Afrocentricity and Scientific Socialism to determine the best way to liberate African people. i got to play Malcolm X and Kwame Ture over DJ Premier beats! i got screamed on by Amiri Baraka! i got to host a discussion with Rosa Clemente, Dereca Blackmon and Dr. Dawn- Elissa Fischer in what may have been the first public discussion from the point of view of women about the rise and fall of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention in 2004! i got to talk with great revolutionaries like Marshall “Eddie” Conway with Dominque Stevenson and Dylcia Pagan with Rosa Clemente. I was the first (and only?) to interview both Michelle Alexander and her sister Dr. Leslie Alexander at the same time and then had them both (rightly?) catch feelings when we aired heavy criticism of the former! There are so many more too… i got to interview some of my favorite thinkers and be educated on-air by some of the best artists, activists and listeners the world can produce (there are too many to mention but check even our limited archives here since some might doubt that what i say is true)! i also liked to think, “where else you gonna hear The Cornel West Theory, Head-Roc, and Skipp Coon at 11a on a weekday?”
i crossed paths with more good people than bad, it is just as always that the good have too little power and organization, but it was still a cool place to swing through for a long time. i will continue to do the work here at imixwhatilike.org and keep thinking about how best to build something with others too. A truly special thanks to all those who supported the program and who have sent kind words of support. We are still here, its all good, and as Fred Hampton used to say, “to you we say peace, if you are willing to fight for it.”