Pirate Radio in Miami
via: RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY @rbma
There are more illegal radio stations in Miami than anywhere else in the United States. Jacob Katel profiles four of the most famous pirates
South Florida has long led the United States in pirate radio broadcasting. Every neighborhood in Miami has one or more illegal stations playing everything from local rappers to old school salsa, Haitian politics, soca, techno, dancehall and murder-cult recruiting infomercials. In the Magic City, strip clubs rent out blocks of airtime and sponsor hours, days, and weeks of dope boy debauchery on the airwaves. There are unlicensed stations that even report to BDS, the Nielsen company that tracks radio spins, and sell campaigns for chart placements.
And even though underground stations and their operators face warnings, massive fines and even jail time, they continue to proliferate. In 1998 the FCC famously busted 15 South Florida stations in a one day raid that made international headlines. Soon after, local papers were reporting how the airwaves were being repopulated with new shows and stations.
In the past 30 years hundreds of stations, call signs, and DJ’s have come and gone across the unlicensed South Florida airwaves. Each has a story. Here are just four of them.