Where it All Started
In 1983 when I was floating through Cal looking for a direction, I decided to spend a summer learning the ropes at the Cal Berkeley radio station KALX. While I was able to learn the basics of news and public affairs journalism, it was made clear to me that music programmers were locked in their time slots, and ‘new people’ would have to wait years essentially for a good time slot. In addition, the punk-thrash-goth-grunge musical culture there was not encouraging to a fan of black music.
Nevertheless, the open minded and free form format allowed me to develop and affirm a wide open approach to the music over the air, and to create my funk name character “The Uhuru Maggot” The station has since become a breeding ground for eclectic hip hop oriented ‘college radio’ deejays, and is well worth checking out.
++here is a link to the KALX website.
In 1986 GEORGE CLINTON came to KALX! I was able to meet him & start a funky relationship that continues to this day! Woof!
THE UHURU MAGGOT
Sometimes you hear the Rickey Vincent alter-ego, the funk-name, The Uhuru Maggot. Well, at KALX the crazyness of the scene inspired everyone to take on outrageous DJ names. My best friend from KALX is William "Last Will" Nichols, and many other characters got into the idea.
When I started up a deejay crew with my homeboy DOUG BRISCOE, he was a bit more of a cool cat, and wanted to call our crew "Spank Incorporated." But I was deep in it, and came up with "Uhuru Maggots" ("Uhuru" being the Swahili word for "Freedom" and of course any Funkadelic fan knows that a "Maggot" is a serious funkateer prepared for interplanetary funksmanship, and ready to GET OVER THE HUMP!) So after jamming with my homeboy Doug, I kept the "Uhuru Maggot" name, figuring ain't nobody gonna be able to say I copied it! So KALX, raggedy as it is, is a good place to start out your funky ideas.
In addition, a number of important Bay Area deejays came out of KALX from the 1980’s along with myself, including Davey D, Gary “G-Spot” Baca, Klay “Brother Kayumanngi” Ordona, Billy Jam, Benni B, DJ Zen (Jeff Chang), and a host of others more recently.