By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Thursday, January 21, 2016
I caught up with former "Yo MTV Raps!" host Ed Lover and rap legend Monie Love during their second week on air in Atlanta as the new Boom 97.5/102.9 morning show.
Both are radio vets who were brought in by Radio One to anchor mornings on their classic hip hop stations nationwide including stations in Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia and Indianapolis. They both bring plenty of nostalgic pedigree, much like the MTV VJs who are heard on the 80s on 8 channel on Sirius/XM.
Lover, 53, co hosted the seminal MTV show "Yo! MTV Raps" with Andre "Doctor Dre" Brown in the early 1990s where his saying "C'mon Son!" and Ed Lover dance became signatures. He has been in radio since 1993 out of New York on stations such as Hot 97 and Power 105.1. In recent years, he has been at Sirius' Backspin classic hip-hop channel before this new opportunity came along.
"The living is easy and the people are great," Lover said, of Atlanta. "It wasn't a stretch to get us here. Not at all."
The British-born Monie Love, 45, last worked in Philadelphia. She was a protege of Queen Latifah, making an appearance on her 1989 song "Ladies First." Monie Love's first album "Monie in the Middle" in 1990 generated two big hits "Monie in the Middle" and "It's a Shame (My Sister)." She hasworked in radio for several years on a Philadelphia station and also on Sirius/XM's Backspin.
Lover and Love have known each other for more than a quarter century and their comfort level with each other is obvious on and off the air. "That's why we finish each other's sentences," she said.
Radio One convinced the pair to move down to Atlanta in a studio next door to a syndicated radio show led by Rickey Smiley, who airs on sister station Hot 107.9 locally.
The pair did a test run on the Boom station in Philly for several weeks before arriving in Atlanta earlier this month.
"Funny is funny," Lover said. "As long as we're funny, people will relate to us."
They plan to bring in big-name guests. Rev. Run has already been on. Locals will pop in as well. "Bone Crusher [who is working part time at Boom] has made us his famous mac and cheese," Love said.
The classic hip-hop format has done well in Atlanta, supporting two stations, OG 97.9 and Boom 97.5/102.9. Radio One earlier this month gave Boom the 97.5 signal on top of its existing 102.9 signal, giving the station a much bigger footprint in metro Atlanta. (97.5 had been simulcasting R&B station Majic 107.5 but 90 percent of listeners were listening on 107.5, rendering the simulcast more redundant than complementary.)
"This is our classic music," Lover said. "Hip hop has been around for a long time. Nobody thought it would last that long. This is grown people's music like my mom had the Temptations. There was a void and it wasn't being filled. Thank god Radio One had the foresight to fill that void."
Lover, who also does stand up, will make his first public appearance in Atlanta at the Punchline (now at Landmark Diner) doing comedy shows on January 26 and 27. (You can buy tickets here for $25 apiece.) Monie Love said she'll be there to cheer him on.