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Akinyele, Planet Asia, & Eminem



And here we have a document of hip hop in one of its rarest and purest forms: the live, on-air freestyle. Radio super-jocks Sway and King Tech have been hosting the toast of hip hop's elite on their celebrated Left Coast hip hop radio show, the Wake Up Show, since 1988. This broadcast has provided millions access to true hip hop in an increasingly commercialized mainstream radio landscape. Listeners get a taste of new and unreleased tracks, unheard-of collaborations, and live, once-in-a-lifetime freestyle sessions featuring the biggest name in lyrics above and below the ground.

Here is one such unheard-of live on-air collaboration, featuring the gangsta-funk rapper Akinyele, the understated West Coast hip hop artist Planet Asia, and the "great white hope," Dr. Dre protégé Eminem. Dre himself discovered Eminem by listening to the Wake Up Show, and subsequently signed the rapper. It was just one of the dozens of pivotal events in rap history for which Sway and Tech were responsible.