Supreme Malone is a radio personality, musician, producer, songwriter, publisher and music historian out of Birmingham, Alabama. Supreme is currently the host of The Classic Hip Hop Show, airing Saturday mornings from 7am – 11am on Hot 107.7 WUHT-FM. Guests of the show have included Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, and MC Lyte. Popular segments include the Classic Hip Hop Megamix, The Classic Hip Hop Block, and The Finish Line. During one episode, Doug E. Fresh proclaimed that Supreme was Birmingham’s “Hip-Hop Encyclopedia”, a nickname Supreme uses today as he shares his knowledge of Hip-Hop culture with today’s youth. So According 2 Hip-Hop caught up with Supreme to see what’s going on the Hip-Hop scene in Birmingham, Alabama one of Hip-Hop’s often forgotten markets.
According 2 Hip-Hop: How did you get your name?
Supreme Malone: When I first started seriously pursuing emceeing as a profession I went through a slew of names. I settled on “Poet Supreme” because I heard Chuck D of Public Enemy say it in a rhyme on “Rebel Without a Pause”. Later, I shortened it to “Supreme” because it was easier to remember. I later found that the name “Supreme” had so much significance, specifically within the Five Percenters. I was indeed a Five Percenter for a while until I took Shahadah in ’07. Without a doubt I still have respect for all my Five Percenters. To the brothers and the sisters I say PEACE.
A2HH: How did you get your start in radio?
Supreme: It all started at a small university in the middle of nowhere, the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, AL where I had won a scholarship and was able to get out of Detroit, MI and make something of myself. Long story short, I hosted the first Hip-Hop radio show there called Basement Flava (named after the legendary First Priority compilation). I was able to spring board that into work throughout the Birmingham area. I started out in the research department, moved on to promotions, than did some programming. I got out of radio for a little while until the opportunity came with the Classic Hip-Hop Show in ’06.
A2HH: Tell us about your radio Hip-Hop Show?
Supreme: The Classic Hip-Hop Show on Hot 107.7 (WUHT-FM Birmingham) is known throughout the world and is respected for its integrity and loyalty to the culture. I don’t bullshit when it comes to Hip-Hop culture. We’ve been on the air since Oct. ’06 and is the brainchild of me and our PD John Long. Since it’s inception we’ve dedicated ourselves to bringing the public the classic Hip-Hop hits and history about the culture as well as keeping folks informed about the current activities of their favorite classic Hip-Hop artists. We’ve interviewed artists such as Chuck D, MC Lyte, Doug E Fresh, Slick Rick, Q-Tip, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane and so many more. You can check it out LIVE Saturday mornings from 7am to 12 noon on www.hot1077radio.com We take pride in being the #1 show on the weekends at Hot 107.7!
A2HH: For those that don’t know describe the Hip-Hop scene in Birmingham, Alabama?
Supreme: The Hip-Hop scene in Birmingham is one not to be slept on. Keep in mind, B’ham is a hub for many surprise Hip-Hop shows. Jay Z and Kanye recently stopped in B’ham for a rehearsal of their Watch the Throne Tour. Aside from that, artists such as The Roots, De La Soul, Raekwon, The GZA and others have gigged in B’ham. These are shows that might not get the most promotion, however B’Ham’s REAL Hip-Hop audience is loyal and welcomes them with open arms. However this is the South, so of course the mainstream artists come through and do their thing. Locally, artists such as The Green Seed, DJ Jeff C (DMC Champ) and Shaheed and Supreme (quick plug) hold down the underground while the Kidz in the Cipher (B-Boy crew) holds down the dance moves. You can usually catch these artists at the Lobotomix shows put together by DJ Rashido. Check it out at www.lobotomix.com
A2HH: Nas won our Greatest Emcee All-time Tournament. Who are your top 5 Emcees of all-time?
1. KRS One
2. Big Daddy Kane
4. Kool G. Rap
5. LL Cool J
A2HH: Between music publishing, playing in a band, producing, and radio which do you like the most and why?
Supreme: I haven’t been on stage with a band in a number of years. I simply have not had the time to keep a band together. DJing and radio (aside from my family) takes up most of my time so I must say I enjoy them the most, but I’m also a producer at heart. Producing, writing songs and making beats allows me to be creative and step into my own world. Some of my production credits include Dwele, Raheem DeVaughn, and Amp Fiddler.
A2HH: Radio gets a bad rap when it comes to the direction it is blamed for taking Hip-Hop Music. What do you think about radio’s current role in Hip-Hop Music as a whole?
Supreme: Radio’s role in Hip-Hop is the same as it’s always been: a promotional tool for the artist. It’s just that the content of the music being promoted is too one sided. There has to be some type of balance. There was a time where N.W.A., De La Soul, Heavy D (R.I.P.), and Brand Nubian could all co-exist and get played on the radio.
A2HH: Who are some Hip-Hop Artist we may not know about that you think we should checkout?
Supreme: I mostly keep it true school however there’s some young lions that are truly on point. You may know about these cats but I’mma still shout ‘em out because I think they’re so dope. I like Phonte, Stalley, Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat and Phil Ade’. I think W. Ellington Felton is one of the most creative young minds out there right now, AND I THINK ELZHI IS THE FUTURE OF HIP-HOP, PERIOD!
A2HH: Where do you see commercial radio in the next 2 years with streaming outlets like Spotify & Pandora becoming increasingly popular?
Supreme: I think people are going to demand more diversity from their radio stations. People scream for it now, but radio is not what it used to be. There’s more of a business dynamic when it comes commercial radio that tells you that their research tells them to play the same ten songs per hour. Pretty soon I think it will get back to whether or not an artist can hold his own and not need the same guest artist on every song in order to have a hit record. The public is smarter than the “higher-ups” think.
A2HH: What are 10 songs on your current playlist?
1. KRS ONE- Somebody
2. The Foreign Exchange- All the Kisses
3. J Dilla- Baby (feat. Guilty Simpson and Madlib)
4. Phat Kat and Elzhi- Cold Steel
5. Phonte- Dance in the Reign (feat. Sy Smith)
6. Shaheed and Supreme- Come and Go With Me
7. W. Ellington Felton- It Didn’t Occur To Me
8. The Green Seed- Crack Kills
9. Kyle Jason- Poison to the People
10. J Ivy- You (feat. Jessica Care Moore and Jesse Boykins III)