by Christina Lenore
Early Saturday mornings, while most kids have yet to get out of their beds, over a dozen high school students crowd inside the booth at Carter Broadcast Group. They take turns with the mic introducing themselves while live on the air. These students are all members of Hot 103 Jamz Generation Rap, a weekly radio show produced by teenagers across the Kansas City metro area. Three senior students Kalan Hooks, Destnee Walton, and Jalexis Vansant from Ruskin High School participate in this teen talk show.
All three members joined Generation Rap differently. Some were recommended by Ruskin principals due to their interest in the field or asked teacher Robyn King, also known as Robyn Knight on Hot 103 Jamz, how to get involved?
“I was actually a spotlight on the show back in February for promotion of the band trip to Branson,” Hooks said. “Being around that
environment made me want to join something and be a part of something that could help me fulfill my future and something that’s going to help me later on in life as it’s helping with my life skills.”
Many teens haven’t heard about Generation Rap and aren’t aware of the opportunities it provides. This show helps give exposure to many organizations and many people across the area.
“There’s many benefits from networking and meeting new people and scholarship opportunities,” Vansant said. “Generation Rap is having our voices being heard through our perspectives on what’s going on in our community.”
This year marks 30 years for Generation Rap. The show has given teens the opportunity to speak on topics that pertain to their demographic, the youth of Kansas City, including fashion, rap, peer pressure, prom tips, politics, crime and health. Students who participate in Generation Rap hope to pursue careers in the journalism field.
“The reason I joined G-Rap is because I want to be a Journalist,” Walton said. “It allows me to gain experience for what I want to do in my future.”