- Michael Shields
This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast features an interview with the backbone of the Asheville, North Carolina based hip-hop group Free Radio, emcees Austin Haynes and Johnny Reynolds. Free Radio was formed in 2012 by Haynes and Reynolds when they released their debut album, The Powers That Be. Fueled by Hayne’s beats that dig into everything from classic soul, rock, modern pop, and space-age lounge, both Haynes and Reynolds are accomplished emcees, and around western North Carolina, Reynold’s syrupy flow has become a thing of legend. Over the past decade Free Radio has taken different forms, won multiple awards for “best hip-hop group” by local newspapers, and shared the stage with heavyweights like Wu-Tang Clan, Ice Cube, Slick Rick, Nappy Roots, Digable Planets and Warren Haynes. Today, Free Radio has found its most powerful configuration with the addition of Grammy Award winning singer Debrissa McKinney and Datrian Johnson, whose deep, soulful vocals (think of a modern day Barry White or Isaac Hayes) are brimming with power and authenticity.Free Radio releases its latest album, Earthworms, this Friday and in this episode host Michael Shields learns from Haynes and Reynolds what to expect from the album. They discuss Free Radio’s conception in 2012, the music that inspires Haynes and Reynolds, and how special it is to now have Grammy Award winning singer Debrissa McKinney and Datrian Johnson in the group. They also discuss what it means to the talented rappers to be coming out of Asheville, North Carolina, the social conscious themes present in Free Radio’s music, and so much more!
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