The impact of Black music and Urban Radio extends far beyond entertainment. It has been a catalyst for social change, inspiring movements and challenging societal norms. Songs like “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin became anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, rallying people together and voicing their demands for equality.
Urban Radio stations have provided a platform for discussions on pressing social issues, amplifying voices that are often silenced. They have been at the forefront of conversations about racial justice, community empowerment, and political engagement. Through interviews, music, and commentary, Urban Radio has become a powerful tool for activism and cultural education.
The advent of Urban Radio created a vibrant and influential
cultural hub, promoting not only established Black artists but also emerging talents. DJs and radio personalities became tastemakers, curating playlists and introducing listeners to groundbreaking sounds. The airwaves became a conduit for connecting artists with their fans and fostering a sense of community.
Erik Thomas aka The Big Homie Erik Tee hails from Meridian, Mississippi and moved here in 2001 from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but is a true Mississippian to the heart. He’s been on air and programming multiple radio stations for over 20 plus years. Under his leadership, he programmed a Marconi award nominated radio station in 2003. Erik is married to Latonya Thomas and they share one son Kameron who is a musician and Entrepreneur as well. Currently Erik is Program Director and Midday host on Magic 102.5 Beaumont and he is the owner of his own voiceover/radio and television production Tee Tyme Productions. Erik’s passion for radio and commitment to his craft have earned him a loyal following of listeners throughout the years. His expertise and dedication have made him a respected figure in the industry.
Gina Cook, originally from Boston but raised in San Jose, settled in Lake Charles
in 1982 after a brief stint in New Orleans. She is happily married with two children and holds degrees from Lake Charles-Boston High School and the Delta School
Starting at KXZZ, Gina embarked on her professional journey and later became part of the inaugural air-staff at KZWA. Eventually, she joined the esteemed team at KJMH 107 Jamz. Alongside maintaining a captivating live show in Lake Charles, Gina had the opportunity to host two syndicated shows during her career.
Since the launch of 107 Jamz on August 7, 2000, Gina Cook has been a dedicated and grateful member of their staff. Her unwavering commitment and love for her profession have granted her remarkable longevity in her chosen field.
Big Boy Chill
Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Philip A. Guillory, also known as DJ Big Boy Chill, grew up in Fisherville, a predominantly African American neighborhood. Despite challenges like Chill’s heart surgery at age 4 and his brother’s coma-inducing seizure, his parents instilled a strong work ethic and faith in their children.
After earning a Mass Communications Degree from McNeese State University, Chill hosted a successful radio show, “Tight @ Night Show” turned “Tha Chill Factory Show,” on 107 JAMZ (KJMH) for 15 years. He also DJed parties, ran an independent record label, and gained local fame. Seeking change and growth, Chill moved to Los Angeles in 2020, just before the Covid lockdown.
In L.A., Chill established his online radio station, Chill Factory Radio, while continuing to DJ. He now enjoys a fulfilling life with his wife, embracing new personal and professional opportunities.
Nina Rawz, aka Yankee Belle, is a Bronx-born radio personality with a wealth of experience in entertainment. She started her career in Buffalo, NY, and now resides in Mobile, AL. With a background in mass communication, psychology, and a degree in Entertainment Business, Nina excels in radio programming, event hosting, audio production, graphics design, and video editing. Currently, she works as a radio personality for NspireU ONAIR, a global internet station, and provides voiceovers for stations nationwide. Alongside her career, Nina is a devoted mother and serves as the Evidence-based Falls Prevention Fitness Manager at a Mental Health institution. Additionally, she acts as the Director of Communications for Adapt Focus, a nonprofit organization advocating for individuals with ambulatory and physical disabilities. Inspired by the love she has received, Nina takes pride in bringing warmth and assistance to others, drawing from her own experiences growing up in foster care.