Memories of Power 106
When I was 21, I moved to LA. I was lonely and scared (but didn't admit it). I needed pre-Internet era "communal." So from 1994 until 2000, all I did was listen to the radio. Mostly Power 106.
- •Driving around alone late at night, listening to "slow jams" that made me feel like, "I wish I had a girlfriend": Aaliyah's version of "Let Me Know"; the remix of En Vogue's "Who Can I Run To" that used the "Love TKO" sample; Mary J. Blige's "My Life"; Toni Braxton in general; etc.
- •The ever-hilarious discordance between ultra-cool, ultra-smooth, baritone-voiced DJ Theo telling a caller: "Congratulations, you're caller number 106" - and the caller's ensuing, screeching freak-out.
- •The week that Tupac got shot - he was in a coma for a while, people were expecting him to pull out of it. Then Theo came on the air and announced, "Tupac Shakur has passed." The woman in the apartment downstairs screamed "Noooo!" And I knew she was listening to Power 106, too.
- •The mind-bending reveal that Theo was not black! You've just got to try and understand what things were like - pre-Google, pre-Facebook - when you'd finally see someone's photo, and your jaw dropped!What happened to this guy? He was a big star - at least in my universe - and he dated Shanice. Can someone on here find him and invite him to join?
- •Before they switched over to all hip-hop, Power was playing a lot of dance/ house. "Lick It" by 20 Fingers/ Gillette; "A Mover La Colita" by Artie the One-Man Party; the Venga Boys (aka the Six Flags Guy song); and the song with the chorus, "Welcome to My Planet Soul."I always thought they were saying "Welcome to my black soul," which I interpreted as a nihilistic statement. Tells you what my mentality was like!
- •Big Boy's show was pretty much non-stop entertainment: "Phone Taps," the "Mickey-Fickey Mix," commercial parodies - including a Nicoderm CQ parody that I can't imagine would be aired today.
- •The drive-time call-in freestyle battles, and the one girl who won every night for a month straight. She was vicious! And now she's forgotten.
- •Cypress Hill's "Soul Assassins" show. One week, Sen Dog got too high. In the middle of B-Real back selling a record, Sen Dog erupted, "OHHHHHHHHH!" B-Real lectured him on the air that he had to hold it together. Sen Dog very sincerely apologized. The most human moment ever on Power.
- •A DJ who out of the blue decided to play Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon in the Sky" at 5 a.m., when I was driving home. I'd never heard the song, and it wrecked me.
- •Hearing Jay Z for the first time ever - "Who You Wit" - and thinking, "This guy's pretty good. I bet he'll be popular." See? I called it.
- •Songs that were played constantly: "Natural Born Killaz" by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre; "California Love" ENDLESSLY; "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" by Dr. Dre; DJ Quik's "Tonight"; "Big Poppa"; Dru Down's "Mack of the Year"; Too $hort's "Gettin' It"; and so on.
- •And those were the majority of my lonely, painful, confusing, terrifying, fantastic 20s!