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Kool DJ Red Alert: A Founding Father in Hip-Hop

Kool DJ Red Alert: A Founding Father in Hip-Hop

08/11/2023 12:00 AM EDT by Bato Aydelotte

From Harlem, NYC, Kool DJ Red Alert is considered a founding father in hip-hop culture and hip-hop radio. As a teenager, he grew up attending parties where he would watch DJs like Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa perform their sets. This sparked his obsession with hip-hop, leading to his passion as a DJ and an abundant record collection.

While attending college, he was offered to DJ with Bambaataa, and so he dropped out to perform with him full time. They soon began traveling the tri-state area performing shows, gaining an audience that was quite fond of their abilities. His talent eventually caught the attention of the program director of 98.7 KISS FM, who offered him a DJ position on his station. As time went on, Red’s audience grew exceptionally large, making him the top on-air talent.

Red Alert is known for being one of the first DJs to play artists like Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, and Black Sheep. Additionally, Red Alert's career has encompassed numerous global tours alongside Boogie Down Productions and the Jungle Brothers, as well as his endeavors as a solo performer. He has been DJ-ing on the radio for 40 years and DJ-ing at parties for more than 45. Red Alert is forever immortalized on Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock’s hit-song "It Takes Two," in which they implore listeners to “listen to Red Alert,"

Presently, he graces the airwaves once again, holding court on HOT 97 every Sunday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST and also making waves on WBLS 107.5 FM on Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Notably, Red is an integral part of the Funk Flex' DJ collective known as the Lit Digital DJs. Be sure to tune in to his shows every week!