Now 9 years old, Sway and King Tech's Wake Up Show on L.A.'s The Beat
(92.3 FM) has become the most listened-to rap radio program in the world.
With over 11 million listeners, Sway, Tech and DJ Revolution have
continuously programmed the best of new and classic hip-hop, plus
exclusive artist interviews and freestyles. They were far from the first
mix-show DJs to hit the air, but they've managed to craft one of the
best examples of their breed.
With This or That, Sway, Tech and Rev have taken the best elements
of their weekly radio show and distilled it into a 32-track (!) mix tape.
This or That kicks off with an introduction to the Wake Up Show
stitched together with random snippets taken from across the hip-hop
spectrum while Revolution cuts up the names of Sway, Tech and himself.
Then, the album morphs into "The Anthem," a five-minute song featuring
everyone from the Wu-Tang's RZA, to KRS-One, to Ras Kass, to Eminem and
half a dozen others.
The rest of the album runs through an eclectic mix of songs drawn from
hip-hop's underground: including Gang Starr's "Above the Clouds," a remix
of Canibus' "Get Retarded" and the rare remix of Dilated Peoples' "Work
Noticeably missing are more popular commercial hits but the Wake Up Show
has never catered to the chart-toppers, which is why Ill Advised and
Rasheed's thunderous "188.8.131.52." pops up on This or That but
nothing does from Bad Boy or So So Def.
Midway through, This or That runs a review of some classic hip-hop
joints, including Pete Rock and CL Smooth's sax-filled "T.R.O.Y.," Cash
Money's hilarious "Ugly People Be Quiet" and Eric B. & Rakim's
unforgettable "I Know You Got Soul." However, the Wake Up Show staff also
includes new songs such as Guru's "NY N*ggas," their own "The Anthem" (RealAudio excerpt)
and "Ego Trippin' 99" (RealAudio excerpt),
an update of the Ultramagnetic MCs' "Ego Trippin', " this time featuring
the rascally Kool Keith and rubber-tongued Motion Man.
There's something for everyone, including freestyles by Canibus, Redman
and Jurassic 5's Chali 2Na (RealAudio excerpt),
plus exclusive Wake Up Show promo songs by the likes of Jay Z and others.
This or That can't quite capture the spontaneous feel of a live
broadcast, but its collection of songs and personalities is unparalleled
in almost any other mix tape you'll find.