The Legacy of the Real Frequency
Published Aug 22, 2011Given the deluge of online mixtapes, loyalty to an old-fashioned, painstakingly curated terrestrial radio show is charmingly anachronistic. Yet some shows have retained their relevance, and attention should be paid to projects like The New North, a hip-hop compilation put together by the crew behind Toronto's The Real Frequency show. The all-original comp features hard-hitting tracks from Shad, D-Sisive, Kardinal Offishall, Rich Kidd and recent Raekwon signee JD Era among the 20-plus MCs. Behind the boards are heavyweights such as Drake producer Boi-1da, 50 Cent collaborator Frank Dukes, Rich Kidd, MoSS and Grammy-nominated Tone Mason, who all received early support on the show.
Started in 1993 on York University's CHRY, The Real Frequency moved to Ryerson's recently shuttered CKLN before jumping to commercial radio with Toronto's Flow 93.5, admirably retaining their original spirit. Helmed by DJ/founder Muziklee Inzane, host Arcee, DJ P-Plus and marketing manager and blogger Keezy, the show was taken off the air soon after Flow was taken over by new ownership a few months ago, but The New North compilation ensures the show's legacy remains intact.
Show host Arcee is still surprised when approached by Real Frequency fans who relay show catch phrases ("Rockin' you! Rockin' you! Rockin' you!") even though the show is no longer on the air. "It's crazy to me sometimes how much the impact you don't think you had and the people, the public actually corrects you," he says. "It's like 'Wow, I guess people were listening.'"
For now, there are no immediate plans to resurrect the show. "Right now we're about this album," says Keezy. "We're still giving you some music." Regardless of what happens, the compilation is irrefutable evidence of The Real Frequency's impact. "I feel like we left something for people to hold on to, that's our legacy," says Muziklee Inzane. "We supported Canadian music, we supported good hip-hop and now here's something for you guys to have."