CHRW DJ taps into the local hip-hop

The Come Up Show gets recognition beyond Western's gates

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Adulis Mokanan, a.k.a. DJ Chedo

Courtesy of Camella Kim

EVERYTHING'S COMING UP ROSES. Adulis Mokanan (a.k.a DJ Chedo) hosts The Come Up Show on 94.9FM. Mokanan works to shine a spotlight on the local, Canadian and international hip-hop scenes.

Western boasts some of the most talented students in the arts. This week, CHRW hip-hop DJ, Adulis Mokanan, takes the spotlight.

Adulis Mokanan, better known as DJ Chedo, came to London from Eritrea in 1996 at age 10. Upon his arrival, Mokanan’s cousins introduced him to the world of rhymes, beats and street culture " and he’s been in love with it ever since.

While rapping and producing are usually the paths of those who idolize street stories and gritty beats, Mokanan’s dissatisfaction with what was being played on both the streets and radio prompted him to make some changes: he’s now studying broadcasting at Fanshawe College and is the host of The Come Up Show on 94.9FM CHRW.

“I got my first real chance at CHRW in January filling in ... for those who couldn’t make their timeslots,” Mokanan says. “Initially I was coming out real hard with the hardcore hip-hop. The director at the time told me to switch it up, so that it appealed to everyone that was listening in.”

With this knowledge in hand he overhauled The Come Up Show’s format. Hip-hop would fill the first hour and a half, while the last half hour would be devoted to R&B and listener requests.

“It was good I got that advice, ‘cause I loved doing it, having a lot of fun playing good music.”

After Mokanan made a name for his show, the only thing left for him to do was secure a timeslot. He managed to get a Wednesday night slot this past April.

However, he wasn’t happy taking the late shifts. Mokanan frequently discussed the issue with his director until he was granted the 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. slot on Mondays in September.

Mokanan’s tastes aren’t limited to mainstream and heavy hip-hop " he’s into anything substantial. His stance on commercial rap, however, is less generous.

“I love conscious rap,” he says. “[Corporate America] is trying to appeal to us and control hip-hop, [signing] those who have gimmicks to sell. Which is why you [have] critics and those who really love hip-hop saying it’s dead ... but as of now, it ain’t dead yet. [Hip hop] just needs to take a different path.

“That’s why I love playing music, no matter where it’s from. As long as it’s good I’ll play it.”

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission requires DJs’ sets to contain one-third Canadian content, which may be limiting for some, but Mokanan has no problem with the rule " much of his content is local.

“You have cats like Classified and Belly ... and then there are the local cats who are creating the buzz and hot tracks that people love, like Big Cussion and Gabriel Choi, a.k.a. Problematic.”

Problematic, who is also the Artist and Repertoire scout for The Come Up Show, has been working with Mokanan for a while now.

With international exposure from coast-to-coast and abroad, Mokanan has ambitious plans for the future.

“I want to finish the program at Fanshawe and launch [The Come Up Show’s] official website. I want to get my own station. But until then, [I’ll] keep doing The Come Up Show and keep growing as a DJ.”

With his mixtape, Just Getting Started Vol. 2, available at Str8 Goodz, NYC Stylez, Hip-Hop Don’t Stop, United Kutz and the Closet and his show receiving thousands of listens and downloads, Mokanan is ready to take on the hip-hop world.

You can catch DJ Chedo live from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on 94.9 FM CHRW, or download his shows from his website at www.thecomeupshow.com.

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