Late Bloom Radio

Inviting all rappers and producers to the Uptown Cypher at Full Service Radio by Maxwell Young

PSA to all DMV area emcees and producers: sharpen your skills and flex your muscles at the ‘Uptown Cypher’—broadcast at the end of every month via Full Service Radio.

Washington, D.C.—An extension of Late Bloom Radio presented by Uptown Art House and InTheRough, the Uptown Cypher is for hip-hop heads young and old, for the rookies and the veterans. Across three episodes, the two-hour sessions have been congregations of rappers and beat-makers from all corners of the DMV. It’s been rewarding to provide a platform for some of our favorite artists including Nate G, Greenss, and Tedy Brewski, while equally as refreshing to have real-life introductions to D.C. legends Fat Kneel, Discipline99, Thrtysmthng and Y.U—producers whose music is secure in my Apple Music and SoundCloud libraries. Similarly, I hadn’t heard of Fauva Gahd or Mavi before they spit off the dome, and now I’m anticipating their next live sets. Shout out Chris Allen and Reggie Volume for sharing work as well.

For host Jamal Gray, the Uptown Cypher is an updated version of an old concept. The musician/curator was recording freestyle sessions, like this one here featuring a young Sir E.U, eight years ago as ‘The Carryout’ on YouTube. “A cypher doesn’t mean just rhyming. It’s about sharing intellect and ideas,” he said on the final episode of 2018.

It’s funny watching people walk through the lobby of The Line Hotel trying to figure out what commotion is happening. Full Service Radio is hard to miss. It’s a fish bowl with a head-to-toe window-pane exterior and deep-sea blue walls complete with a selfie-worthy neon sign, plush furniture, and more microphones than the non-musical person probably has ever seen. Each cypher takes on a life of its own, especially with “@THEBESTRAPPERINDC” aka MartyHeemCherry rapping at the top of his lungs. Libations are always flowing, too, so the more potent the bars, the more potent the reaction in the room.

The Uptown Cypher is open to the public, but come correct because as Nate G told me after one rapper brought written verses to a session, “There are unspoken rules to this.” Listen to all three cyphers below.

The next Uptown Cypher will be live on FullServiceRadio.org at 7pm, EST on January 30.

Polaroids by Maxwell Young

Full Service Radio

1770 Euclid St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20009


Late Bloom Radio on Full Service Radio by Maxwell Young

Sir E.U and Nate G on the bill for Episode 5 tonight.

Tune in every Wednesday at  FullServiceRadio.org

Tune in every Wednesday at FullServiceRadio.org

The LINE DC hotel in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. has a real boutique, crunchy-granola vibe to its interior.  Its exterior shell is the redeveloped First Church of Christ, Scientist, which sits a short walk away from a McDonald's and the best diner in D.C., The Diner.  On the inside, though is this nouveau riche hotel lobby with Moroccan pillows lining the steps, a crooked full-length mirror, and three restaurant bar spaces with nouveau riche-type names, like 'The Cup We All Race 4,' 'Brothers and Sisters,' and 'A Rake's Progress.'  Undoubtedly they serve five dollar hot chocolates and $17 gin and tonics with locally sourced and farm-raised foods, which this mouth will never consume.

Situated amidst all this zhushing, encased in a glass box for the viewing pleasure of all the happy hour yuppies, is Full Service Radio.  You can't miss it with the pop art-styled, repetitive "ON" neon lights emanating from the deep blue wall.  The Station is truly something locally grown.  Founded by record producer/sound engineer/disc jockey, Jack Inslee who launched Heritage Radio Network in New York City, Full Service Radio has amplified the voices of 30 local hosts with 24/7 online streaming that hotel guests also have access to in their rooms.

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One of these shows is Late Bloom Radio, co-hosted by quintessential D.C. artists Jamal Gray and St. Clair Castro--the maestros behind Ctrl Space CMD that occurred in the spring of 2017.  Four episodes in, Late Bloom is a mix of new and rare music spanning the genres of future soul, psychedelic, experimental hip hop, house, electronic, and ambient.  On Wednesday's from 6pm-8, the show features extended mixes, in-studio performances and interviews with artists and activists representing the DMV community.  It's very much the sonic version of the late 1970s exploratory show, 'TV Party' as a whole roost of creatives move in and out of soundscapes.  Join us tonight when we talk to Sir E.U fresh off the release of his new project Some Friend You Are and Uptown's native son, Nate G.