Born and raised in Queens, New York, longtime KZSU DJ Kevin "Kevvy Kev" Montague first moved to (and never left) the Bay Area back in the early eighties to attend Stanford University. It was there that, along with his (Members Only) hip-hop crew, Montague began broadcasting what would become the world's longest running hip-hop radio show, The Drum, which airs every Sunday on KZSU from 6PM to 9PM. Several years ago, in celebration of this unique radio program, Kevvy Kev began throwing the annual Bang The Drum hip-hop festival. The festival's eager participants have included Big Daddy Kane, CL Smooth, Smif & Wessun, Das EFX (who performed at the most recent Bang The Drum in August), Canibus, Ras Kass, Saafir, Money B, Special Ed, Camp Lo, J-Live, Blackalicious, Mr. Lif, Rasco, Planet Asia, Hieroglyphics, Peanutbutter Wolf, The Lifesavas, and Kutmasta Kurt.
Kutmasta Kurt was once a member of The Drum radio show crew. Others have included Mike Nice. The current weekly lineup includes DJ Felix the Friendly Traveler, Raymundo, and Jimbrowski with rotating DJs including Amp Live and D-Sharp. The very original lineup was born out of the 1980's Bay Area Members Only crew which, in addition to Kevvy Kev, was Jonathan Brown, Richard "Rich D" Dwyer, Louis "Easy Lou" Carr, Todd "Todd T" Hosein, Mark "Rockmaster Markski" Hosein and human beatbox Bruce "Casual B" Richardson. This 1980's hip-hop crew built a name for the hip-hop parties they threw. The Members Only crew also put out a record, the twelve-inch single "You're Not Down."
In addition to hosting The Drum every Sunday evening and producing the Bang The Drum event every summer, Kevvy Kev also publishes the Weekly G.I.R.L.S newsletter, throws the monthly party VBYZ in San Francisco, and this year became RZA's tour DJ. For more information click here. Amoeblog recently caught up with Kevvy Kev to ask him some quick questions, including some about of his favorite music.
Amoeblog: Did you ever imagine you might still be doing The Drum all these years later?
Kevvy Kev: When we first started, definitely not. We were just jazzed to be able to get on the air and play/make music we loved, that we knew people wouldn't be able to hear otherwise.
Amoeblog: When exactly did The Drum first go on the air?
Kevvy Kev: Started in '84. 24 years and counting, and to quote the poet: We will be here forever.
Amoeblog: How did the idea for the show initially come about and when you started the show what was original goal?
Kevvy Kev: The Drum predates the Members Only Crew; when we came on it became our voice/outlet for the music we were making and loved.
Amoeblog: Back when you started, and for several years afterwards, there were no radio hip-hop promo departments, so how did you go about getting new hip-hop music?
Kevvy Kev: We bought it and we made it. And we stayed close with cats in the community who were also making it.
Amoeblog: What are some of the positive things about KZSU as a radio station?
Kevvy Kev: No dayparting, no commercials, no creative constraints, penetration to all areas of the Bay (5 Million listenership), and progressive agenda.
Amoeblog: How long have you been doing the Weekly G.I.R.L.S. and what does it entail exactly?
Kevvy Kev: Whoof...well, not sure how long. On and off since the late 80's I've been sending out my playlist to the labels; over the years I gradually added info/a cover sheet to it and faxed it. With the advent of email, I was able to start adding listeners/fans to the distribution list, and more content to the cover letter. The idea is to keep people up on what's being played every week, while including info on events/news, as well as some unsolicited attacks. It's all hip-hop, baby.
Amoeblog: Your VYBZ party -- what is it and how have you been doing it?
Kevvy Kev Last Friday of every month at Element Lounge, started this year. Beats, rhymes and life.
Amoeblog: Who were some of the more memorable guests on The Drum over the years?
Kevvy Kev: Wu-Tang, Busta Rhymes + Spliff Star + Rampage, Fugees, LONS, MC Serch, Ras Kass X Clan, Saafir, Organized Konfusion, Mobb Deep, etc, etc, etc.
Amoeblog: First record you ever bought?
Kevvy Kev: "Convoy" by CW McCall.
Amoeblog: First hip-hop record you bought?
Kevvy Kev: "Rappin' & Rockin' the House" by Funky Four +1
Kevvy Kev's Top Five Fave Singles of All Time:
1) Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D Moll
2) Grease Theme
4) "Rappin' & Rockin' The House"
5) "Prisoners of War"
Kevvy Kev's Top Five Albums of All Time:
1) J.S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier
2) Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions
3) X-Clan To the East Blackwards
4) Boogie Down Productions Edutainment
5) Organized Konfusion self-titled
"Ask me tomorrow, it'll be 5 others" - Kevvy Kev.