Best Radio DJ - 2009
Our favorite radio moment this year: the exclusive debut of Jay-Z's "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)," Friday, June 5, on Funkmaster Flex's HOT 97 radio show. It was the opening salvo of a promotional run that would last all the way through the release of the rapper's Blueprint 3 on September 8. But nothing could top the blaze of explosion noises, maniacal chuckling, rival station shit-talking, and endless rewinds (it took Flex and his partner in crime, Mister Cee, a full 15 minutes to get through the four-minute song) that kicked it off. In an increasingly professionalized and automated format, the presence of guys like Flex—who will not hesitate to rant and rave and go from commercial to commercial without playing a single song—makes New York radio still feel like New York. That they edit his name out of "Juicy"—the song Biggie Smalls first shouted Flex out on 15 long years ago—when it comes on Power 105.1 is only proof that the man born Aston George Taylor Jr. still runs things in 2009.