As Dallas descends into chaos all around us, Rodney Blu—journalist, podcaster, radio personality, advocate—fought through the dystopian future that is now our present to meet with Zac and Tim at their beloved neighborhood haunt, The Old Monk.
Blu, a Pleasant Grove native, is an occasional D Magazine contributor, one who basically wrote out a resignation letter to his former employer at one of the city’s rap stations on the digital pages of FrontRow. More than anything, the piece reads like a personal statement of purpose:
Pushing the culture forward through thoughtful programming, online innovation, and integration of the local market aren’t concerns for Dallas radio.
Call me naive, call me a dreamer, but when I accepted my $11.50 an hour offer, I envisioned ushering in a new era of North Texas hip-hop, one that utilized my passions and abilities like I was told my position would. Even my most selfish ambitions, being on-air myself, were thwarted by fear and tradition. Fear from a programming director and his league of immediate subordinates that their 30-plus years of on-air experience would be erased overnight by some geek off the streets with no experience. Tradition that is corrupt and economically driven, doling out air time and rotation to the highest bidder, and the extortionists known fondly as record labels.
He did it on his own before trying at the radio station. He was an early personality on the online station Deep Ellum on Air, running the weekly Local Over Everything show alongside friends Mo the Bear and Simon Phoenix. After the demise of LOE, he joined his outspoken father for a show called Inner City Blues, which consisted of conversations between millenials and Gen-X’ers of how they’re taking social issues that are affecting the nation. You’ll hear about all that.
The lively conversation is one of the best we’ve had on EarBurner, and one of the most important. Blu represents a section of the city that too often ends up in the news for violence and drugs instead of innovation and progress. It’s where we too often parachute into for a story and then zip right out of, missing the conversations folks have over lunch. Rodney just wants to see that the city’s southern sector has its voices heard and its stories told.
Over the next hour or so, you’ll hear about the movement he’s calling AlreadyDTX, an ambitious multimedia excursion into Southern Dallas that will showcase art, music, food, and news through words, video, and audio. It’s a labor of love. Now it’s time for you to hear it in his voice. Show notes below:
1. Some more info on AlreadyDTX: Head here for the Twitter account, here for the Facebook, here for the Soundcloud handle. Be sure to tune in on Sunday nights from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. to hear the station’s weekly block live.
3. Blue Apron probably would. And they should sponsor us.
5. Checking in below 30: CHAOS RULES.
7. Zac’s got the over/under on Tim using this phrase he discovered at least twice in the next week. I’ve got mine at twice through Sunday.
8. Again, here’s a link to AlreadyRadio.
9. Learn all about returning City Councilman Dwaine Caraway and his collection of a half-dozen phones.
10. You should also take a minute to revisit Local Over Everything, Blu’s old Podcast.
11. And here is where you can hear more from the great Rikki Blu.