As we reported in April, local gangsta rap oldies station KDAY — the best station in L.A. — has been sold, for almost $20 million. The buyer is RBC Communications, which is largely owned by a Chinese-American entrepreneur named Anthony Yuen. Word on the street is that KDAY's format will switch to Mandarin.
If the FCC approves the deal, the change could happen any week now, according to an industry analyst. So the fate of KDAY at its current home, 93.5 FM, is probably sealed. But that doesn't mean KDAY as a concept is dead. After all, this incarnation of KDAY was merely an homage to the original one, located at 1580 AM, which was the first station to play mostly hip-hop, before switching to an all-talk format in 1991.
New owners later bought the call letters to FM, and, presumably, those call letters will become available again after the upcoming switchover. Thus, KDAY and its sweet, sweet g-funk could theoretically pop up somewhere else on the dial. All it would take is a shit-ton of cash. So who should step in and save the day? Why, Dr. Dre, of course, says Casey Colvin, the man behind a group called Save KDAY.
He's started a Facebook page dedicated to the cause, featuring a picture of Dre in a photoshopped KDAY hat.
“We need a doctor to save KDAY,” writes Colvin in his press release, noting that Dre's career would likely not be what it is without the AM incarnation. “I'm sure he understands the cultural significance of losing the radio station as a platform for both veteran and emerging artists.”
And, of course, the retired (?) producer, rapper, and NWA alum is in a giving mood, having recently donated $35 million to create a new tech and arts program at USC.
See also: Dr. Dre Speaks on His USC Academy
Obviously, Dre has the necessary capital to spearhead KDAY's move to another part of the dial. And this kind of thing has been done before, Colvin notes, like Chicago alternative station Q101, which after being bought out in 2011 later became Underground Q, at 87.7 FM.
Other rappers could also wear the guardian angel hat, Colvin adds. Here are his top choices:
1. Aftermath Entertainment (Dr. Dre)
2. Shady Records (Eminem)
3. G-Unit (50 Cent)
4. Disturbing Tha Peace (Ludacris)
5. Lench Mob (Ice Cube)
6. Doggystyle (Snoop Dogg)
7. Bad Boy (Diddy)
8. Roc-A-Fella (Jay-Z)
9. Def Jam
Our opinion? This could work!
And it wouldn't have to be charity. In fact, as we noted in our KDAY feature last year, the gangsta rap oldies format is clearly ahead of its time. The ratings weren't bad, and as the young adults who grew up on Snoop, Bone Thugs, E-40 and the like continue to age, they're going to tire of Power 106 and other formats that play the same new hits over and over.
But even if it is charity, DRE DO IT ANYWAY. The thought of KDAY disappearing is too much to bear; there's almost nowhere else in the country where you can hear Jermaine Dupri followed by Juvenile followed by Westside Connection followed by Aaliyah followed by Skee-Lo. At least on the terrestrial dial, anyway. We'd even settle for AM, wouldn't we?
Well, maybe not. We're pretty much babies around here. But please, Dre, save KDAY. We promise to make it worth your while, even if it means buying a pair of your crummy headphones.