Missoula’s hip-hop heart 

Money Mike, DJ Bionic and the Tallest DJ in America collectively call themselves “Wild Boyz.” On Sept. 3, they began broadcasting hip-hop to Missoula, Lolo, Bonner and Frenchtown from a Missoula studio. Soon, they’ll broadcast from their Missoula basement. The three DJs and a programmer recently signed a contract with Clear Channel Communications to broadcast hip-hop and R&B on Wild 107.5 from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. seven days a week. It’s Missoula’s first commercial hip-hop radio, they say, and for Missoulians, it’s been a long time coming.

“They’re hungry for hip-hop,” says DJ Bionic.

The four men live in a quaint, slate-blue home near the Memorial Rose Garden. A white minivan sits in the driveway. And no, a Wild Boyz’ mother is not visiting. The van, they explain, is used to haul gear. And it isn’t their only vehicle. True to hip-hop’s urban roots, the boyz have carz.

“We got the soccer-mom van,” admits Money Mike. But the black Oldsmobile convertible is theirs, too. As is “The Caddy,” a pale yellow Cadillac with two television screens and, because of a missing panel, only one good profile.

In addition to music, the hip-hop station offers a word-of-the-day, an indoctrination into hip-hop culture that DJ Bionic describes as “modern-day disco.”

Money Mike, hand to head, wracks his brain for a word in the basement studio complete with four turntables, six hard drives and a 32-channel mixing board. Aaron Traylor, the Tallest DJ in America, urges him on, which makes him laugh.

Finally, he’s got it: “Dey trippin’.”

That’s a phrase, not a word, says Bionic.

Money Mike thinks again: “Frontin’.”

He uses it in a sentence, like he would on-air: “Don’t be comin’ into…The Other Side frontin’ tonight.”

Putting up a front, explains Traylor.

Traylor believes that the contract indicates that Clear Channel is moving toward local radio and radio personalities.

“We’re gonna be here talking about Orange Street,” he says. “We’re gonna be here talking about The Elbow Room. We’re gonna be here talking about the mall.”

The Wild Boyz are big news for little Missoula, and Money Mike isn’t sure why the Independent isn’t putting him on its cover. He hops onto the hood of the black mustang, spreads his arms wide and smiles, gold teeth gleaming, striking the pose.

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