Best Hip-Hop Station (2000)

KKFR-FM 92.3

Phoenix's unlikely reputation as a hotbed for the dance and DJ genres has always tended to obscure the other side of the urban music coin, hip-hop. Part of this can be blamed on the historical lack of a progressive broadcast powerhouse to bring the music to local ears. In more recent years, Power 92 has emerged as something of a force in carrying that musical message to Valley audiences. Though situated precariously close to the NPR affiliate -- we wouldn't want white suburban Eminem fans to have to suffer any intelligent thought -- KKFR 92.3 has shaped itself into the leading beacon of hip-hop programming. Unlike the other urban format station (KMJK 92.7/106.9), which sticks to more adult and smooth R&B fare, Power 92 keeps it, um, real -- so to speak.

Admittedly, the station's playlist never veers off into adventurous or eclectic territory, but it does provide local airwaves with meat-and-potatoes offerings from mainstream (and just outside the mainstream) rappers and harder-edged R&B performers. And the station's ever-improving weekend specialty programming and mix showcases point to an even more promising future.

Readers' Choice: KKFR-FM 92.3

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