On Record: Tim Westwood in depth on Notorious B.I.G. and the war between East and West
On Record is a regular feature on FACT in which we ask an artist we admire to pick a record that means a lot to them, and use it as a jumping off point for a conversation.
Here, we take the format to FACT TV for the first time, and who better to kick it off than the big dog himself, BBC Radio 1’s Tim Westwood? The first mainstream radio DJ in the UK to showcase US hip-hop on a major scale, Westwood was an early staple on then-pirate station Kiss FM in the mid-’80s, before making the step up to Capital in 1987. It was with Radio 1, however, that Westwood really became a big deal – the Radio 1 Rap Show, presented by him, was essential listening for anybody young, UK-based and interested in hip-hop in the mid-’90s, with the biggest names from the genre regularly stopping by for interviews and freestyles.
In an age where music fans and DJs are more cynical than ever, Westwood’s restless enthusiasm for new music still speaks volumes, and although his On Record pick, Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘One More Chance’ (Remix), was released in 1995, he was at pains to emphasise to use that for him, every era of hip-hop is a golden era, highlighting Rick Ross and Meek Mill as some of his favourites of the new school. As well as Biggie, Tupac and the war between the East and West Coasts – some of which Westwood, a regular DJ in New York throughout the 1990s, witnessed first hand – this video interview touches on the forthcoming Red Bull Music Academy Culture Clash, which Westwood will co-present at Wembley Stadium on November 7.