Comprehensive History Of Basementalism
The story of Basementalism goes back to the late 1990′s and begins with the story of Radio1190. In 1996 Jacor Communications donated KVCU (then KBCO)’s equipment and transmitter to the University of Colorado Foundation. The Foundation then turned over the equipment to a small group of students who at that time ran a small campus only station known as KBCU. After two years of negotiating, planning, and implementing KVCU Radio1190am at the University of Colorado at Boulder went on the air on November 4th, 1998.
Tuesday nights 9-11pm was the scheduled hip-hop specialty show. The show began as a simple average college radio show, however it was the vision of Mike “Adict” Merriman, with the help of KVCU hip hop dept veterans Infinity and Viscous, to turn the Thursday night show into what is today now known as Basementalism. In the early days Basementalism consisted of various people including Mike “Adict”, Nate “Resonant” Harvey (of Hip-Hop group The Procussions), “Nime”, DJ Vajra, B-Boy Jeff, and Jesse “DJ Mung” Reim. The vision was to create a hip-hop radio show that would uncover and educate the often overlooked underground of hip-hop left in the shadows of mainstream commercial rap music. Focusing on the positive elements of hip-hop, Basementalism began to expose new talent and music in the national underground hip-hop scene, and push forth a cohesive Colorado Hip-Hop Scene that would bring together all elements of Hip-Hop: Emceeing, Grafitti, Breakdancing, and DJing. At this time Mike “Adict” would also go on to become the Student General Manager of KVCU Radio1190am. In this period Basementalism saw short lived syndications in a few countries including South Africa.
Eventually the show would see it’s switch to the current time slot it has been for over the last 6 years, Saturdays from 4-7pm. 2000 and 2001 saw the growth of Basementalism with the next wave of crew members filling out the core group of Basementalism that would eventually carry on the show. Mike “Adict” and Nate “Res” would depart the show and move to California with their group “The Procussions”, Judgemental joined the fold as a co-host, DJ Thought and DJ inka one would become the regular resident DJs (along with DJ Mung), and Lazy Eyez joined as a street teamer. DJ inka one and Lazy Eyez would go on to produce the show after Adict’s departure, Lazy Eyez would replace Adict as General Manager of KVCU Radio1190, and DJ inka one would become the new hip-hop director for KVCU.
Through this time period Basementalism began to sow it’s seeds as a radio show that would continually turn out exclusive national interviews, freestyes, break new underground acts, sponsor the majority of hip-hop shows throughout the Denver / Boulder Metro area, expose Colorado to the growing indie hip-hop movement of the new millenium, and help to expose the nation to Colorado. In addition in 2002 they would put out the now underground classic Basementalism Mixtape Volume. 1 (“Too Damn Hype”) which featured exclusives from Murs, DJ Z-Trip, DJ Melo-D, Eyedea, and was mixed by DJs inka one and Thought.
Through the strong growth and push of the Basementalism Street Team, Basementalism continued to progress. During the summer of 2003 Basementalism was also co-hosted by MC / Rapper Master Fuol (of the famed MTV Lyricist Lounge TV Show). That summer saw Master Fuol hosting the show in a different costume week in week out including the infamous bikini costume. From 2004-2005 Basementalism was also featured in weekly segments on The Real Hip-Hop TV Show that broadcasted on Denver Public Access. Segments included live interviews with The Perceptionists and DJs Q-Bert & Flare. Basementalism would also over this time period write hip-hop music reviews for the Colorado Daily Newspaper.
In recent years Basementalism has gone on to the local, national, and worldwide Hip-Hop Radar. In 2003 Double U Thomas of Poland began exchanging e-mails with Mike “Adict” and Lazy Eyez to create what has become Basementalism Poland, a European branch of Basementalism. Basementalism Poland intially began as a way of translating Basementalism’s website for the Polish audience. However, Double U Thomas being the motivated individual he is went on to produce several radio shows throughout Poland, write several articles for Poland’s Hip-Hop Magazines (including Klans), and produce and sponsor several hip-hop shows in Poland. Basementalism Poland has expanded to form it’s own crew and mission. In the fall of 2005 Double U Thomas finally made his appearance at Basementalism U.S.
Basementalism has gone on to become a Colorado grown movement expanding beyond Colorado and radio. In 2003 Mike “Adict” Merriman left to Los Angeles to manage The Procussions who had relocated there a year earlier. Forming Basementalism Records Adict and The Procussions have gained national recognition through their two releases “As Iron Sharpens Iron” and their second LP released on Rawkus Records (once home to Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Pharoah Monche, etc) entitled “5 Sparrows for 2 Cents”. Adict has also gone on to establish Basementalism Radio Promotions, servicing records to hundreds of DJs across the country and spreading the great hip hop that Basementalism supports. Basementalism Radio Promotions has promoted albums for various hip-hop groups including Lightheaded, Braille, Time Machine, CL Smooth, DENT, and more.
As Basementalism began to grow as a radio show and it began to grow as hip-hop crew as well. In it’s current form Basementalism has gone to produce several concerts and events throughout Colorado in order to establish and continue progressing Colorado’s Burgeoning Hip-Hop Scene. Throughout 2005-2006 Basementalism has produced the Colorado DMC Regional DJ Competition and Tidal Aid: Tsunami Fundraiser B-Boy Break Dancing Competition (in which over $3,000 was raised for aid to victims of the Tsunami in Indonesia). The current crew continues to hold down and progress the movement Basementalism has started.
Basementalism has been home to various guest DJs locally and nationally. Local Basementalism U.S. Guest DJs have included DJs Double U Thomas, Ichiro, Styles Davis, Destro, Idiom, Square, Enemy, Prominent, Low Key, Amen, Psycho, Andirexit, Tense, Mike Thunder, Rootz, Panther & Technic 9, Stretch, Dent, Deft, Skip Ripkin, Mercy One, Soul 45 Chicanos, Es-Nine, Phi (aka DJ Itch), and One Twenty.
National DJs who have appeared on Basementalism include DJs: Vadim, First Rate, Neil Armstrong (5th Platoons), Daddy Dog (5th Platoons), Kid Koala, Melo-D, DJ Kico (Platter Pirates), DJ Spryte 1 (Platter Pirates), Spooky, Ming & FS.
Some national artists who have been interviewed on Basementalism include:
A.C. The Program Director
Big Daddy Kane
Boots Riley (The Coup)
Crown City Rockers
Del The Funky Homosapien
DJ Cosmo Baker
Gift of Gab
High and Mighty
Jeff Chang (buy his book “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”)
Jern Eye (Luna Heights)
Ming & FS
Mister Man (Bush Babees)
One Be Lo
People Under The Stairs
Posdonous (De La Soul)
R.A. The Rugged Man
Storm The Unpredictable
Strange Fruit Project
Vast Aire (Cannibal Ox)
Vordul Mega (Cannibal Ox)
Basementalism has also self-produced numerous concerts including shows for: Mission (now known as Crown City Rockers), Qwaazar, Typical Cats, Eulorhythmics, Storm The Unpredictable, Family Tree (All Natural Inc), Josh Martinez, DJ A-Trak, Ricci Rucker, Excess, DJ Abilities, DJ Kechup, The Procussions, One Man Army (One Be Lo of Binary Star), DJ Premier, Prince Paul, Lovebug Starski, DJ Tony Touch, DJ Muggs, DJ Revolution, Rob Swift, DJ Evil-D, Zion-I.
Events Basementalism has produced include:
2002 & 2003 Bart’s CD Cellar DJ Battle, 2005 Tidal Aid: Tsunami Benefit B-Boy Battle, 2005 Fox Theater MC Battle, 2005 & 2006 Colorado DMC DJ Battle Competition, 2006 Red Bull’s Hit The Decks Rooftop Party Rocking DJ Contest.
Basementalism has been featured in several publications including:
Colorado Daily, Boulder DIRT Magazine, 303 Magazine, Denver Post, Daily Camera, Westword, Aesthetic Magazine, Colorado Daily, CU Boulder Campus Press, KLAN Hip-Hop Magazine (Poland).
P.S. None of us get paid to do the show. We do what we do for the LOVE.
In case you got caught sleepin.