WMUA is housed in the back corner in the dingy basement of UMass Amherst’s campus center. Walk into this tiny studio, and chances are that you will find students busy putting together the latest and greatest playlists in all genres. Over the past few years, Miles Powell and John Holowitz have clocked a lot of time in this spot, co-creating the Beatspill radio show.
Beatspill, which started as a hip-hop blog, was the brain baby of four friends who met in high school and learned to love the genre as they got into college life. The guys were late bloomers to the hip-hop fandom, which shouldn’t be all too surprising considering they are middle class white kids from the suburbs of Boston.
“I grew up listening to all oldies music,” Powell says. “To the extent where I had such a stereotypical attitude of [hip-hop] music… I would be going to basketball games, and I’d be jamming out to the Bee Gees.”