The 20 Best Radio Stations For Rap (2023)
Rap has been dominating the music industry for the past decade or two. There are countless new artists, singles, and albums coming out every single day and it’s just overwhelming to know where to find good rap.
If you resonate with this and want to discover top rap music, new or classic, you have come to the right place. Today, I’ll take you through, what I feel, are the top 20 radio stations for Rap where you can tune in to your favorite music in your car or on your phone.
1. Hot 97
Hot 97 is one of the hottest places for everything hip-hop. Started in 1940 with the call sign, W2XWG, the station turned into Hot 97 in 1992, programming urban contemporary from Hudson Square, New York.
Today, you can find everything from new music, artist news, interviews, and videos on the channel. It broadcasts music live 24/7 on its website. There is also the Hot 97 app where you can download and enjoy the radio station on your smartphone.
2. Streetz 94.5
Atlanta’s new hip-hop station, Streetz 94.5 might not be the biggest mainstream radio station in Georgia but it sure is one of the best. Broadcasting urban contemporary, it is best known for featuring the city’s local hip hop and rap artists.
Considering the rap talent that’s come out of Atlanta lately, Streetz 94.5 is a brilliant place to discover new rappers. You can also find the latest news, stay updated on nearby events, and listen to the fun morning show.
3. Power 105.1
Best known for being the home to one of America’s top radio programs, The Breakfast Club, Power 105.1 is an urban contemporary music radio station based in New York. It has been in commission since 1953 and has undergone many changes in the past.
Apart from its morning shows, Power 105.1 is also a great source for the latest rap music, hip-hop news, and podcasts. While it broadcasts mainly in the Big Apple, you can access it through the channel’s app or its YouTube.
4. Power 106
Widely regarded as the first rhythmic contemporary radio station, Power 106 is LA’s leading spot for all things hip hop. The station is, in fact, responsible for the rhythmic contemporary moniker by leaving out rock from its playlists.
Today, you can find great rap music, blogs, news, interviews, talk shows, and much more on Power 106. The channel also regularly hosts contests where you can win exciting prizes.
5. One Love
One Love was a New York-based radio station that used to play hip-hop, rap, and R&B almost exclusively. Inspired by old-school artists like 2Pac, Biggie, Naz, Wu-Tang Clan, etc., the channel became a beloved spot for the genre’s fans who were looking for a place to revisit ‘real’ hip hop.
Even though the channel is no longer in service, you might be able to listen to the radio on the internet. On https://onlineradiobox.com/us/onelovehiphop/, for example.
6. 97.9 The Box
97.9 The Box is Houston’s premiere radio station. It broadcasts in a rhythmic contemporary format, particularly hip-hop and R&B.
A great reason to listen to the channel is because of the wide variety of programs it has to offer. You got the latest music, interviews, daily shows, and much more. It’s also a great place to discover unknown artists since the channel curates upcoming talent.
K104 has had a long-time history of being Dallas, Texas’ leading radio station. First, it broadcasted classical music, then prog rock, then Christian music, and now, it finally settled on hip hop.
The channel runs in an Urban Contemporary format. With a hip hop and R&B-heavy playlist, the station is a nice spot when Texans want to tune into the latest music.
8. Hot 107.9 ATL
Hot 107.9 ATL is stationed in Hampton but serves the Atlanta area in Georgia. The channel runs a mainstream Urban Contemporary format, consisting mostly of hip hop.
The fact that Atlanta has such an enormous talent pool makes a popular station like Hot 107.9 a hot spot for rising talent in the industry, be it artists, DJs, or personalities. Ludacris got his start at the station when he was on the air.
9. Wild 94.9
Even though it’s not specifically a hip-hop radio, the reason I have to include Wild 94.9 is that it’s the San Francisco Bay Area’s top radio station. The channel runs on a Mainstream Top 40 format, giving its listeners all the updates on what’s hot in the music industry.
You can either go to the website or download the iHeartRadio app and tune into your favorite music. Or if you want the juiciest gossip.
10. 97.9 The Beat
Serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas, 97.9 The Beat is another one of the city’s top dogs when it comes to hip hop radio. It uses the Urban Contemporary format, playing the hottest rap songs in the game.
The channel has had a long history, having been in commission since 1947 as WFAA-FM. Now, it’s home to great music and interesting talk shows, 24/7.
bigFM is one of the biggest radio networks in the world, broadcasting in many countries. It also has an online or web radio that streams live music for free over many websites and a smartphone app where you can access great hip hop and rap.
What’s unique about bigFM is that it’s all about good music, irrespective of language and genre. You’ll find German, Latin, and even Turkish music there. Apart from music, you can get the latest news, read stories, and listen to podcasts and many shows.
An Urban Contemporary radio station, V-103 is a popular radio network, broadcasting live rap/hip hop in Atlanta. It is one of the many competing rap channels in the city.
V-103 is not only limited to rap, though. You can also find R&B, soul, and, on some days, even gospel music. Apart from that, the channel also focuses on sports news and commentary, along with several podcasts. It really has a great deal to offer to its listeners.
Bring you the hottest news and music from the west coast, 93.5 KDAY is a top radio station servicing in the Greater Los Angeles Area. It runs in a Classical Hip Hop format.
It has become a haven for hip-hop fans, particularly old-school ones, with dedicated playlists catering to each section of the genre’s fans. The channel also has great shows running all day, every day.
Owned by Cumulus Media, WEAS-FM is an Urban Contemporary radio station, operating in Savannah. It is considered the best hip-hop destination in the area.
It hosts the infamous Streetz Morning Takeover show, among many others that run all day. You will also find soul and R&B music on the channel.
15. WHUR 96.3
Widely reputed as Washington D.C.’s leading radio station, WHUR 96.3 FM is an Urban Adult Contemporary radio station. It is also the state’s only independent station.
In addition to playing contemporary rap and hip-hop music, WHUR-FM is also known for its shows and podcasts. Particularly, Quiet Storm, D.D.’s number one evening show.
16. Cadillacc Music
Presented to you by the man himself, Snoop Dogg, Cadillac Music is an online radio. The radio plays an intricately curated playlist of hip hop, soul, funk, and R&B music. The music, of course, is chosen by DJ Snoopadelic.
Cadillac Music is available on a multitude of online channels. And the best part, it broadcasts live music 24/7 with no ad breaks or commercials.
17. Magic 101.3
Another feather in the cap for iHeartRadio, Magic 101.3 is a dedicated urban contemporary channel that broadcasts in many cities from Columbus to Louisville. So, it’s not surprising that it receives a healthy audience.
In addition to playing rap and hip hop, the station also hosts great podcasts. It’s also home to live performances that happen in the station’s studio.
107.5 WGCI-FM is an Urban Contemporary radio station. Licensed in Chicago, it broadcasts in the city’s metropolitan area.
WGCI-FM is also owned by iHeartRadio, which means not only do you get great rap and hip hop music, but also some really nice radio shows. Plus, you can stay up to date with the latest news in the hip-hop world.
19. KJLH 102.3
Owned by the legendary Stevie Wonder, KJLH is an Urban Adult Contemporary radio station that services Los Angeles. The radio is also accessible online and through its app.
While the channel is predominantly soul and R&B, it does broadcast some really good hip hop, jazz, and gospel as well. KJLH does a great job of paying homage to great African-American music.
20. Hip-Hop Dugout
It has a website, an app, and a YouTube channel. It has great old-school and current hip-hop music. The Hip-Hop Dugout is everything you want your radio station to be if you’re a rap fan.
The online radio keeps you updated on the latest music, news, and events that are happening in the US and the UK. So, if you want a simple but sophisticated place to listen to your favorite music, Hip-Hop Dugout is where you want to be.
Considering how big hip hop is these days, there’s no shortage of quality radio stations you can tune in to, no matter where you live. Especially when stations like Hot 97, Streetz 94.5, and Power 106 can be accessed on the web and through an app.
These are my top 20 channels for listening to rap/hip hop. I hope you found it helpful.