Published on September 25th, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Greg “Mack Attack” Mack: 1580 KDAY was the West Coast Hip Hop Hub
In a candid conversation with radio icon Greg “Mack Attack” Mack, he takes us back in time to reveal how he helped West Coast Hip Hop make its monumental debut on the airwaves beginning by bringing out the solo debut of Compton legend Eazy-E on the immortal radio station 1580 KDAY as its music director. Below are some highlights from my Live Session conversation with Mack and you can watch the entire session after the jump
A Little Background
1580 KDAY a Cultural Hub
DJ Bobcat, along with Uncle Jamm’s Army, Greg Mack, and Jack Patterson, helped pioneer the world’s first 24-hour Hip Hop radio station, 1580 KDAY, changing the entire format of radio, introducing and pioneering the Saturday Night Mix Show and Traffic Jam. At the time, radio was traditional R&B and was playing very little rap. Bobcat thought of the idea, concept, and name “Mix Masters” for Mack. The new format caused a national and international domino effect, changing various stations’ views of Hip Hop and subsequently their format.
The “Mack Attack” and “Mix Master” DJs
1580 KDAY’s “Mack Attack” radio show and the “Mix Master” DJs, including the likes of smooth-voiced Julio G, DJ Aladin, Tony G, DJ Battlecat, and more, became legendary. Mack shared some insights into how these shows and DJs shaped the musical landscape from this West Coast radio hub. He Shared that “Mack Attack” was all about showcasing new talent, and these DJs were the heartbeat of the show. They were pioneers in mixing and blending music on the air. And when Dr. Dre and DJ Yella Boy joined them, it was historic. They were the first mixer DJs at the station, and that’s where N.W.A. really started to take off.
The Groundbreaking Moment
Of course, I kicked things off by diving right into history, asking him to take me back to that pivotal moment when he introduced Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” on 1580 KDAY.
Greg describes a truly unforgettable moment when Eazy-E came to him fresh from the studio with “Boyz-n-the-Hood” on a cassette tape. Eazy knew Mack and 1580 KDAY were committed to breaking new music. So, Mack put it on air for the very first time live. The response was electric. It was the birth of West Coast Hip Hop on the radio.
The Godfather of CHR Rhythmic Radio Format
Mack’s influence on radio, even beyond Hip Hop, is undeniable, often referred to as the “Godfather of the CHR rhythmic radio format.” drops a bit of science about how he helped shape this genre into a global standard.
He explains it as being about blending various genres to create a unique sound. He wanted the station to reflect the cultural diversity of Los Angeles. So, he introduced a mix of R&B, rap, dance, and pop, which became the CHR rhythmic format. It was all about bringing people together through music. And now, it’s a standard worldwide.
1580 KDAY’s Impact on West Coast Hip Hop
1580 KDAY played a pivotal role in the rise of West Coast Hip Hop. Mack elaborated on the station’s importance to the genre and its place in the culture’s 50-year history. He shared his feeling that the station was the bridge between the streets and the airwaves. Giving local talent a platform, helped artists like Ice-T, N.W.A., and countless others get their start. 1580 KDAY was not just a radio station but a cultural hub. And as we celebrate 50 years of Hip Hop, 1580 KDAY remains a cornerstone of that history from a West Coast perspective.
Mack’s contributions to radio and West Coast Hip Hop are immeasurable. The conversation included some incredible insights into the birth of a cultural phenomenon. As I assessed the conversation, Mack, rightfully so, seemed like a pleased parent reminiscing about those historic days at 1580 KDAY. He closed with how Hip Hop has come a long way and proclaimed his pride at having played a part in its journey.
This interview with Greg “Mack Attack” Mack sheds light on the transformative moments in radio and music history that helped shape West Coast Hip Hop into the global force it is today. Greg Mack’s legacy as a pioneer in radio continues to influence the industry, leaving an indelible mark on music and culture…Tune In!!!