Best Hip-Hop Radio Personality - 2009
DJ Strawberry, 101.5 JAMZ FM
Our morning commute just gets longer and longer, but it ain't because traffic's snarled again on the I-10. Ever since the acerbic-tongued jock Strawberry gave up his afternoon drive time shift in favor of urging 101.5 JAMZ listeners to "wake that ass up" from 6 to 10 a.m. every weekday, we've been extending our route to the office, if only to get in a few more minutes of listening. Between spins of the freshest Lil Wayne, Jeremih, and Flo Rida cuts, we're usually cracking up something fierce at his bits, which put other "morning zoo" deejays to shame. Besides the always-popular "Will It Flush Wednesdays," there's "Bitch Slap Mondays," where fans cast text-message votes throughout the show to determine which male in the studio (either the host or one of his sidekicks, Suge White and G-Mo) gets a hearty pimp-smack by outspoken newsgirl Vanessa. His tongue-in-cheek interviews are also top-shelf, be they with oddball listeners, porn stars, or hip-hop luminaries. (He even got to confab with DMX the day he got released from Sheriff Joe's gulag.) If Earl Simmons is down with Straw, then we gotta be, too.