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The 25 Best Rap Radio Stations

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Best Rap Radio Stations

The best rap radio stations broadcast high-quality rap music around the clock, both locally and internationally, through their online platforms.

Responsible for launching countless careers, these radio stations are essential for music lovers and rap fanatics who want to keep on top of the latest news and interviews with the hottest rappers.

This list features the 25 best rap radio stations in America, exploring their preferred music styles, hit shows, and most popular guests.

 

The Best Rap Radio Stations

We’ve listened to a wide selection of the best radio stations for rap music to bring you this definitive list of the finest in the game, featuring the most popular shows and details on where to find them.

Here’s our list of the 25 best rap radio stations:

 

1. Hot 97 – WQHT-FM

Location: New York, NY

Station Type: Online / Local

New York’s Hot 97 WQHT-FM hip hop radio station makes the bold claim to fame as the first hip hop radio station in the world.

Broadcasting plenty of urban contemporary music in addition to hip hop and rap music, the station is based in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, with its transmitter in the Empire State Building.

It’s not surprising they’re among the go-to stations for hip hop in New York City, influencing some of the Big Apple’s major trendsetters, reflecting the cultural diversity on offer.

Like the best hip hop record pools, Hot 97 is renowned for its eclectic mix of some of the top talents in the music industry.

 

2. Power 105.1 – WWPR-FM

Location: New York, NY

Station Type: Online / Local

Another well-known and popular hip hop radio station based in New York is Power 105.1 WWR-FM, owned by iHeart Media, and it also has its transmitter on top of the Empire State Building.

Its flagship morning show, The Breakfast Club, is hosted by Charlemagne the God, Angela Lee, and DJ Ency and is syndicated throughout the United States.

The station found itself in some controversy when one of its DJs, Troi Torain, was arrested for threatening behavior, but this did little to impact its broad listeners.

They regularly feature some of the best-known artists in the business, with a range of podcasts in addition to playing rap, hip hop, and RnB.

 

3. Streetz 94.5 FM

Location: Atlanta, GA

Station Type: Online / Local

Street 94.5 FM touts itself as Atlanta’s new hip hop station but draws a much wider global audience thanks to its online presence.

Not averse to hosting local hip hop and rap musicians, the station has earned a solid reputation for finding new talent away from the mainstream.

In addition to the local radio station, their website gives you access to podcasts, live listening, and Streetz TV, making it a solid choice for hip hop fans who like to watch as well as listen.

It’s one of the best radio stations in the area to discover new artists and check out live broadcasts from one of the most popular music genres available.

 

4. KBXX 97.9 The Box

Location: Houston, TX

Station Type: Online / Local

Heading down to Texas for KBXX 97.9 The Box, another high-quality hip hop radio station where you can listen to a broad mix of urban music and live broadcasts.

The website features a good mix of genres to listen to, alongside interviews with megastars like Nicki Minaj, events listings, and other great related content.

One of the few hip hop radio stations in the Greater Houston area, KBXX 97.9 The Box hosts the long-standing morning show by Madd Hatta, which has been broadcast since 2001.

If you’re looking to compile some of the best summer songs, The Box is a solid radio station and website to head to for inspiration.

 

5. Wild 94.9, The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station

Location: San Francisco, CA

Station Type: Online / Local

Another hip hop radio station that falls under the iHeart Media umbrella is Wild 94.9, based out of Los Angeles, California.

As well as hip hop, this station plays a range of other genres, including mainstream artists such as Katy Perry, catering to a large audience of music fans.

They also play hard-hitting rap, urban classics, and RnB, with popular shows such as The JV Show leading the way in ratings for the station.

It’s a more commercial radio station than some, but if you’re looking for a mix of popular music alongside some more obscure hip hop, it’s an excellent place to start.

 

6. BIGFM US RAP

Location: Germany

Station Type: Online

Fans of old-school rap and hip hop will do well to log onto the BIGFM US RAP website and check out the station’s groovy output.

Despite being based in Germany, this station has its finger on the pulse of what’s hot in the world of hip hop, playing early access releases of great tracks as well as informative talk shows.

The overall tone gives a feel-good vibe, making it a favorite for many hip hop fans who prefer De La Soul over gangster rap.

While they are based exclusively online, the station does have regional outlets inside the United States, helping them to bring their unique brand of music to audiences around the world.

 

7. WEAS-FM

Location: Springfield, GA

Station Type: Online / Local

Fans of mainstream hip hop and rap – along with a side order of R&B – will enjoy the content put out by Georgia-based WEAS-FM.

The radio station began life as an easy listening platform, countering the proliferation of country music stations in the Springfield area before transforming over time into what it is today.

Owned by the Cumulus Media company, the station has even dabbled in progressive rock and jazz, although visit their website and these genres are conspicuous by their absence.

As well as live broadcasts, you can get the latest music and culture news from the site, along with interviews with hip hop artists and access to events and contests.

 

8. WAGH

Location: Columbus, GA

Station Type: Online / Local

Sticking with popular hip hop radio stations in Georgia, WAGH is another outlet owned by the enormous iHeart Media company playing popular contemporary music to locals.

You can also head over to their website to check out the latest top songs from the best artists in the business, while their varied mix of presenters can help if you’re thinking of choosing a DJ name for yourself.

The WAGH is a channel fully committed to playing hip hop music in 2004 and was once branded as “The Beat” before dropping the name to maintain its unique identity.

It’s one of the smaller hip hop stations in Georgia but remains popular with fans of the genre listening in the Columbus area of Georgia.

 

9. 102.1 FM “The Hip Hop Station.”

Location: Greensboro, NC

Station Type: Online / Local

102.1 FM is a hip hop radio station that delivers around-the-clock music with an emphasis on hip hop and rap.

This is a station that has deep roots in the history of the genre, with the late Tre Black – who worked at 102.1 under the name Tre Bien – just one example of the station’s stars who enjoyed great success in the music industry.

Owned by the company Audacity, “The Hip Hop Station” has also hosted former co-anchor of E! News, Terrence J, as well as Madd Hatta.

102.1 FM isn’t currently available to listeners in the EU, but keep an eye on this guide as we’ll update this if and when this changes.

 

10. WJLB

Location: Detroit, MI

Station Type: Online / Local

Detroit-based WJLB puts out urban contemporary music to locals and beyond, with their online presence reaching across the country.

Regular shows include The Bushman Show, Zach Boog, and Dr. Darrius, and the station also plays a varied selection of podcasts covering music and culture.

Originally launched in 1941, it’s one of the oldest stations featured on this list, moving away from the top 40 format to focus on modern hip hop over old-school classics.

This lean towards a younger audience makes it a good pick for high school students looking for inspiration when putting together a playlist of the best sweet 16 songs.

 

11. 98.2 The Beat L.A.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Station Type: Online / Local

Los Angeles has a well-established hip hop production culture, and 98.2 The Beat L.A. does a sterling job of representing this over the airwaves.

Created by DJ King Assassin, The Beat L.A. is an internationally syndicated station with a strong emphasis on classic hip hop and rap.

Its mission statement calls for the creation of a community of openness and enthusiasm, and they’ve been uniting hip hop fans around the world since 2008.

They’ve also launched some big names since their creation, including Megan Thee Stallion, 7 SOLO, and Kokane.

 

12. WGCI FM

Location: Chicago, IL

Station Type: Online / Local

Chicago, Illinois, is the home to WGCI FM, a radio station for urban contemporary music which plays a solid mix of rap and hip hop tracks.

Founded in 1958, it’s another radio station that began life in a completely different format, playing show tunes and light classical music to its audience.

Nowadays, the station leans towards rap and hip hop, as well as hosting some well-regarded chat shows, and also hosts a website with contests and news updates.

If you’re looking for some DJ tips for beginners, you can’t go wrong listening to these veteran broadcasters in action.

 

13. Hot 96.3

Location: Indianapolis, IN

Station Type: Online / Local

Indianapolis’s Hot 96.3 brings rap, soul, and hip hop to local listeners, with a broader audience catching their shows via their online presence.

You can listen to their live on-air shows online or through traditional radio, and the site acts as a repository for the latest music news, events information, and contests.

Syndicated shows from Angie Ange and The Morning Hustle Show are popular with regular listeners, and local DJs also follow the show.

If you’re a fan of the station’s regular DJs, their site also provides handy links to follow them on all social media platforms.

 

14. KJLH Radio

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Station Type: Online / Local

Another excellent hip hop station from Los Angeles is KLJH Radio, which stands for “Kindness, Joy, Love, and Happiness.”

As you might expect, this station has a lot of love for great music, and it casts a wide net in terms of the genres it covers.

As well as hip hop and rap, you can listen to jazz, gospel, RnB, and classic soul music around the clock.

It’s not surprising their standards of music taste are exceptionally high; the station is owned as part of Taxi Productions, which is Stevie Wonder’s company.

 

15. 106 KMEL “San Francisco’s Home for Hip Hop and RnB.”

Location: San Francisco, CA

Station Type: Online / Local

The best radio stations are lucky enough to have launched the careers of some of America’s most loved music performers, and 106 KMEL is one such station.

Some of the heavy-hitters who got their big break on 106 KMEL are Tupac Shakur, MC Hammer, Mariah Carey, and Boyz II Men.

They also introduced the Bay Area to a long list of media presenters and personalities, including Rick Chase, J. Paul Emerson, and Renel Brooks-Moon.

For these and many other achievements, this station has earned its nickname as “San Francisco’s home for hip hop and RnB.”

 

16. Cadillacc Music

Location: N / A

Station Type: Online

Fans of old-school rap, hip hop, and RnB will find lots to love if they tune in to Cadillacc Music, an internet-only station established by none other than Snoop Dogg.

With such a luminary of the hip hop world behind it, you get only the very best music here, with the big man himself curating many of the playlists.

The station leans into heavy gangster rap and hip hop, but there are plenty of soulful tracks to help bring some balance to the mix.

It’s this variety that makes Cadillacc Music appealing to a broad range of listeners, and you might even find inspiration here for your best prom songs playlists, too.

 

17. Hip Hop Dugout

Location: N / A

Station Type: Online

Hip Hop Dugout is another online-only radio station that you can use to stream music from anywhere in the world.

One of the fastest-growing sources for hip hop and rap lovers, they also offer a packed slate of interviews, news, and viral entertainment.

You can view the latest streams and playlists on the site, with track listings covering everything from hip hop and RnB to urban contemporary and newly-released pop tunes.

It’s a solid blend of newly discovered artists alongside tracks from some of the most established performers working in the genre.

 

18. KJMS

Location: Memphis, TN

Station Type: Online / Local

iHeart Media’s radio station empire extends all the way to Memphis with their KJMS hip hop station.

While this region of the States is perhaps better known historically for its blues music output, KJMS has updated its output to bring urban contemporary songs to its listeners.

Previously known as KWAM, the station changed to KRNB before finally settling on its current incarnation, which is affectionately known as K Jams.

While hip hop and rap music form the foundation for much of its broadcasting, they also extend programming to include talk shows and other programs such as podcasts which you can access on their website.

It’s an informative station that offers exciting insights into the industry, so if you’re interested in how much DJs make, you should tune into their shows to find out.

 

19. Doggystyle

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Station Type: Online / Local

Snoop Dogg returns with his Doggystyle radio station, which blasts out the best West Coast rap and hip hop over L.A.’s airwaves.

Snoop is rarely out of the news, and even his reunion with his dog breaks into the headlines, and his radio stations always draw in large and loyal audiences.

Doggystyle is hosted on Dash Radio, driving older hip hop and rap music to a younger audience who might not be up to speed on the best West coast tunes.

Alongside Snoop Dogg, artists such as Young Sagg, Brielle Marie, Millbeatz, and T.LEE can be found spinning tunes on the station to their millions of listeners.

 

20. K104 – 104.5

Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

Station Type: Online / Local

Back to Texas for another great radio station with a solid reputation for putting out excellent hip hop broadcasts and exclusive interviews, K104.

Host to the morning drive show Skip Murphy and the Home Team, ranked at number 1 in the morning drive time slot for over a decade, K104 has been around for many years.

This experience is reflected in quality broadcasting from hosts including Nanette Lee and Wig and an ethos that blends classic rap with contemporary pop releases.

It’s upbeat, entertaining fare, including some of the best party songs to come out of the rap and hip hop scene.

 

21. WQUE-FM

Location: New Orleans, LA

Station Type: Online / Local

WQUE-FM hails from New Orleans, which is no stranger to musical talent covering pretty much every genre you can think of.

This station moves away from the jazz and blues vibe, which often comes to mind when thinking of New Orleans, focusing on mainstream urban releases alongside hip hop and rap.

There’s classic rap, too, as well as their own version of the Breakfast Club morning show to keep locals abreast of the latest news.

You can check out all of their content on the website for free, so if you’re not in the New Orleans area, you don’t have to miss out on their output.

 

22. KCEP

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Station Type: Online / Local

KCEP is regarded as the principal hip hop station in Las Vegas, with a packed schedule of popular DJs and hosts playing a varied selection of music.

This station often veers away from commercial releases, making it a good place to discover more hidden talents you won’t find filling up the top 40 lists.

It’s gained a large following since its inception in 1972, and the eclectic mix of soul, jazz, RnB, and other more niche styles might leave you wondering exactly where do DJs get their music from.

If you’re in the Vegas area and want to tune in while driving, you can find KCEP on 88.1 FM.

 

23. “Power 106” 105.9 FM

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Station Type: Online / Local

Heading back to L.A. for Power 106, a hip hop radio station owned by Meruelo Media group and first established in 1986 in Southern California.

Los Angeles is the home of many established and upcoming hip hop stars, and Power 106 acts as a vehicle to help promote great talent.

They also host regular interviews with some of the biggest names in the music industry, with Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj among the roster of A-list talent on their station.

While they broadcast to the Greater Los Angeles area, you can stream their content online for free and enjoy their variety of styles spanning old-school classics to the latest releases.

 

24. Hot 107.9 Atlanta

Location: Hampton, GA

Station Type: Online / Local

Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 radio station is a popular broadcaster from the state of Georgia, perhaps best known locally for their morning show, The Morning Hustle.

J Nicks, Mo Quick, and other DJs make up their roster of excellent hosts, putting out a wide selection of contemporary urban music.

One of the most influential rap radio stations in the region, they helped launch the careers of several successful artists, including Ludacris when he was better known as Chris Lova Lova.

Atlanta is the home of quality rap in many ways, with the list of hip hop musicians hailing from this city as long as it is impressive.

 

25. V-103, The People’s Station

Location: Atlanta, GA

Station Type: Online / Local

Another rap radio station owned by Audacity is V-103, which frequently ranks as the highest-rated radio station in Atlanta.

It’s no surprise, given the superior quality, engaging personalities who host many of their shows, along with the top-tier choice in music on offer.

If you’re looking for music industry news, the V-103 site is there to keep you in the loop about the latest releases, upcoming tours and events, and some gossip for good measure.

It’s the kind of superb selection of rap and urban contemporary music you can expect to find in some of the best DJ record pools available, which is most likely where many of the DJs mentioned here get their playlists.

 

Summary

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the best rap radio stations.

This guide explores 25 of the very best stations available, so there’s plenty for you to choose from when you’re looking for your next rap fix.

Rap radio stations come and go over time, so be sure to check back on this article for the latest information, as we’ll update this post when new stations emerge.

What’s the best rap radio station, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.

Andy has been producing music since the early days of Cubase and spent much of the 2000s mixing house and techno with his trusty Technics 1200s. Fast forward two decades, you'll find him in his home studio experimenting with the latest music production software, tinkering with Ableton plug-ins, and occasionally trying (and failing) to complete Cuphead for the hundredth time.