Best Radio DJ: Versatile weaver on wheels of steel
Mainstream radio, for all intents and purposes, is wack. Too often, "popular" translates to "lowest common denominator" to the market-driven, age-based Top 40 stations. Corporate radio casts brief moments of shining light from these narrow confines. DJ BackSide is one of those lights. Born and raised in East Oakland, she started her DJ career outside Moses Music in Oakland the summer of 2002; since then, she's held down The Hot Spot on KMEL from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. every Saturday morning for years. Having captured the ears of her after-hours listeners with her mixing skills and less-restricted playlist, she captured their hearts with a sophisticated charm and no-nonsense interview style. Her Got Bay? mixtapes, featuring freestyles from up-and-coming local talent before it hits the streets, are must-haves, and she regularly packs clubs like Zazoo's, @17th, and 2232MLK. Even as MTV and BET broadcast her to the world, DJ BackSide represents the bay with a pride only a native could know.