In music history DJ NastyNes Rodriguez can be located at the foundation for hip hop growth in Seattle. His Posse was on Broadway helping the scene happen in a pre-digital Seattle age. He ran radio shows, produced NASTYMIX Records, and worked with many local artists. This transpired in a time where music was on cassettes, vinyl, or radio only. (MTV wasn’t big yet. Don’t even try imagining iTunes.) Nes was honored by FANHS in 1992 with the Very Important Pinoy award for his contributions. When you look back at early Seattle hip hop history, Nes was there for hip hop culture.
“Not only am I the first (West Coast Rap show) DJ, but a Filipino DJ and reppin’ the 206!” – Nes Rodriguez
READERS: Can you remember his first show’s name on KFOX radio? Comment about it below.
In the 90’s Nes kindly allowed my teenage friends and I promote our breakdance event during his radio show. The Rap Attack broadcast transmitted live from the University of Washington on 90.3 KCMU (now KEXP). I remember being on the mic and talking too fast. Nes, a seasoned on-air jockey, patiently asked for event info again: “What you doin’? Where’s it at? When’s it gonna be?” People did show up for our break war in South Seattle. It was a fun experience. By the 21st century I re-met Nes at a Seattle City Breakers reunion and he retold stories about hanging in the CD and knowing my family. Presently he’s in California and we managed a brief chat again.
I asked Nes about the single thing he has to do when visiting Seattle. What Nes shared was completely unexpected. He brought up food. Maybe you think Nes has to go to Chinatown for dim sum? Nope. Maybe he has to get a Dick’s Deluxe burger? Nope. Nes says, “After I land at Sea-Tac airport the first place I ALWAYS have to go to is, Taco Time! That is my favorite place to eat.” I was really surprised by this. It may be nostalgia, or homegrown tastebuds driving him. Still, he says, “Nothing anywhere can compare to a Crispy Beef Burrito, Mexi Fries and their salsa.” I didn’t realize Taco Time was rooted in the Pacific Northwest until he said this.
Nes is proudest of shaping history through radio and working with Sir Mix-A-Lot in Seattle. Even before KCMU he was a pioneer on the airwaves. Nes states, “I am the first DJ on the West coast to debut an all rap radio show on commercial radio back in 1980 on Seattle’s 1250 KFOX.” This early DJ work would lead to more opportunities. “Because of that I met Sir Mix-A-Lot in 1983 & by 1985 NASTYMIX Records was born followed by two platinum albums!”, recalls Rodriguez. For myself and many others, we would chant and bump the seminal Sir Mix-A-Lot song “Posse on Broadway” as an exclamation of hanging out on Capitol Hill. Posse was released on NastyNes’ label and the song has become so classic it has an orchestral rendition (video link).
(courtesy photo via Nes Rodriguez)
by Devin Israel Cabanilla