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Hip-hop Radio Stations

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Listen to the best Hip Hop radio stations online and learn more about the genre. Listen to top Hip Hop music sorted by cities and genres.

Introduction to Hip Hop

Hip Hop is not just a rich genre of music, it is also a cultural movement that originated in African American and Afro-Caribbean communities during the latter half of the 20th century. One location we should note is the Bronx, New York City during the 1970s. This is when, in spite of social and economic challenges, Afro-American communities channelled expression, empowerment, and cultural identity into a new form of music. Hip Hop was born, a style of music that focused on lyrical prowess, poetic vocals, and rhythmic soundtracks.

The roots of hip-hop also developed alongside the party and disco scene where disco jockeys or DJs introduced new techniques to electronic music. Notable figures include DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bmbaataa who developed new turntable and CD mixing techniques for experimental sounds.

Hip Hop’s songwriting and rhythm continue to develop through artists such as Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem Snoop Dogg, and many more. Besides music, the Hip-Hop culture also features the graffiti scene, break dancing, and urban art in general. Hip Hop provides a poetic voice for the marginalized to express themselves artistically and is much more than just a genre of music.

Top 5 Radio Stations Playing Hip Hop

If you love listening to hip-hop on the radio, we have great news for you. On this page, you will find some of the most popular radio stations playing hip-hop with frequencies and locations. The best part is that listening to each one is completely free. Here are some popular options from around the world.

  1. Power 105.1 FM – US, New York City – Power is one of the most notable hip-hop radio stations in the US. They feature a rich mix of artists and songs in combination with interviews with famous hip-hop personalities.
  2. BBC Radio 1Xtra Country – UK, London (DAB, FM, and online streaming) – A popular UK radio station that focuses on urban music genres, including hip-hop, grime, and R&B. The neat thing about it is that it features both popular artists and emerging ones to promote them.
  3. Hot 97 Country – US, New York City (97.1 FM) - Hot 97 is a legendary hip-hop radio station based in New York City that is widely recognized as a crucial part of shaping hip-hop culture. They do not just play excellent urban music but also host interviews, talk shows, premiers of new tracks, and live performances by famous artists.
  4. Triple J Country - Australia, Sydney (FM and online streaming) – A national Australian radio station known for its diverse music programming. They host the "Hip Hop Show" that showcases local and international hip-hop artists, as well as rap battles and exciting discussions.
  5. Reprezent 107.3 FM – UK, London (Frequency: 107.3 FM) – A youth-led London radio station that represents the Hip-Hop scene from the perspective of younger enthusiasts. It features a mix of urban music genres, including hip-hop, grime, and drill, and provides a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent.

Obviously, these are just some popular options to get you started as there are countless more great radio stations playing hip-hop.

Featured Artists in Hip Hop

What is a genre without the great artists that continue to evolve it? Here is a list of hip-hop artists that have both shaped the genre from its early forms and are still active today.

  • Jay-Z – An American rapper, songwriter, and entrepreneur who is considered one of the overall greatest and most influential modern figures in hip-hop. He is a well-rounded rapper with a highly successful career and numerous chart-topping hits to his name.
  • Eminem – A master of songwriting and technical skill in rap that made him one of the most globally recognized artists in the world. His provocative lyrics and rapid-fire delivery are his most recognized traits. He has achieved immense commercial success and critical acclaim throughout his career and even managed to star in a few movies. 
  • Drake – Know for his melodic rap style and catchy hooks, Drake is another well-rounded jack-of-all-trades artist that has gained popularity worldwide. Drake's ability to seamlessly blend different genres and his introspective lyrics about love, success, and personal experiences have made him a recognizable figure in hip-hop.
  • Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick Lamar is a critically acclaimed American rapper known for his thought-provoking lyrics and versatile musical style. He has gained immense respect as an artist through his poetic storytelling and socially conscious themes. With Grammy Awards under his belt, he is considered a modern classic.
  • Aesop Rock – A lesser know but immensely talented master of underground hip hop. Aesop Rock is well-known for his complex songwriting and diversified lyrics that are delivered in an immersive storytelling fashion. His introspective themes and thought-provoking songs have made him a highly regarded figure in the hip-hop community.

As always, we cannot possibly list all the great artists of the hip-hop scene and chose to focus on the modern and featured ones. Hip-hop has a rich a diverse history so feel free to browse around and find artists that suit you best. There is no single great rapper, it all depends on what you prefer from lyrics to delivery and many more categories.

Iconic Songs in Hip Hop

If you are new to the genre and want some old-school and modern song recommendations, we got you covered. You can find these hits blasting on numerous hip-hop radio stations:

  • "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five – Released in 1982, this influential song brought social commentary to the forefront of hip hop. It tackled numerous issues that plagued the African-American community and showcase hip-hop’s power of storytelling to the public.
  • "Lose Yourself" by Eminem – To this day, this song from 8 Mile remains one of Eminem’s most powerful hits. Its motivational power and powerful production resonates with listeners both young and old.
  • "Hotline Bling" by Drake – A perfect example of a catchy rap song that showcases both Drake’s lyrical and physical creative prowess.
  • "Bodak Yellow" by Cardi B – Cardi B's breakout hit introduced her fierce and unapologetic style to the world with an infectious beat and confident lyrics unique to her.
  • "Super Bass" by Nicki Minaj – This pop-infused hip-hop track along with its chorus and memorable verses propelled Nicki Minaj to the mainstream. 

Feel free to browse around our recommended radio stations that play hip-hop and discover more great hits.

Additional Information for Hip Hop Fans

We have a couple more surprises for you besides popular hip-hop radio stations. These are some of the most popular annual festivals and broadcasted events that you should check out if you are not already familiar with.

  • Rolling Loud Festival: One of the biggest and most exciting hip-hop festivals in the world takes place across the United States. It features an extensive lineup of established and emerging artists.
  • Wireless Festival: Another annual hip-hop festival that is held in London, UK that showcases a mix of rap music, R&B, and urban art styles.
  • Summer Jam: Presented by the New York radio station Hot 97, Summer Jam is a legendary hip-hop festival that takes place at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. It features performances by renowned artists and is known for its iconic moments in hip-hop history.
  • BET Hip Hop Awards: A televised event that celebrates achievements in hip-hop culture. It features live performances, cyphers, honored artists and producers, and can even be found online.
  • MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) - Hip-Hop Category: MTV’s VMAs also feature a hip-hop category that celebrates the best music videos in the genre.

You can listen to the top hip-hop radio stations on our website for free. Check out our sorted list of radio stations by country, city, language, and more.