An Internet radio station that caters to music lovers and social justice enthusiasts was started by a native of Gainesville.
Daniel “Jerk” Jerkins, 34, launched FLAhiphopradio.com (WJRK) in November 2020 to provide a space and platform for hip hop and R&B culture in the State of Florida to be heard locally and globally. .
Jerkins began his local radio journey in 2017 at WMBT 90.1 FM as a hip-hop director and host of “The Jerk Jerkins Show”, then hosted the show on WGOT 100.1 FM in 2020.
âI saw there was a space to attract the younger generation,â Jerkins said. âI’m an 80’s baby and feel like I’m between two generations. I feel like it’s a place to convey our views. We are a bridge for it.
Jerkins, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, said artist development and business exposure are important to the radio station.
The resort offers promotional packages to help artists propel their careers, and
a free advertising option for movers and community shakers and nonprofits.
âWe are trying to help them further their careers,â Jerkins said. âWe try to reflect the community as much as possible. “
The station offers programs such as “Say Our Names, Now!” With Jhody Polk, “What’s Poppin ‘Gainesville” and “The Florida Hip Hop Spot”.
The station debuted PK Hour last Thursday, an all-black female talk show focused on women’s issues and empowerment.
âWe want this place to be where the community comes to discuss issues that aren’t being discussed as much as they should be,â Jerkins said. âWe want to be the voice of the community.
The TV personalities who inspired Jenkins were Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan of Rap City and Stuart Scott of ESPN.
âI thought it was really cool talking about sports and music all day,â Jenkins said. âThey were paid to do this. “
Jenkins is a father of eight and is currently studying journalism at Santa Fe College.
He said he wanted his listeners to connect with him on a personal level when they tune in to his show.
Jenkins said listeners have the ability to call and interact with hosts and guests by calling 352-554-5645.
âThe people behind the mic seem incomprehensible and unapproachable,â Jenkins said. âI want to be the guy that everyone can relate to and talk to. I want to take complex things and bring them to the common plane. I am a community person. Things from my past have helped me a lot. There are things that I have experienced that can help someone else.
Jenkins entered radio through acquaintances and listening to National Public Radio.
He thanked his mentors like Ken Harden, Qquincy Taylor and Bill “Boogie” Johnson.
âI stand on their shoulders because they helped me be here today,â Jenkins said.
Harden, owner of Internet radio station SoulNet.com WKDH, mentored Jenkins for about three years.
âI always welcome young black men who are doing something positive in the community,â said Harden. âIt is always necessary. There is always room for more in the business. Black Wall Street must be built and we must continue to flow consumer money into our communities. “
Jenkins has a small library at the station of black scholars and history books which he uses to gain more knowledge in his spare time.
âReading is how I spend most of my free time,â Jenkins said.
Above her small bookcase is a photograph of Zora Neale Hurston, a native of Florida and a Renaissance figure from Harlem.
He was inspired by popular historical African American women like the late Ida B. Wells and Mary McLeod Bethune and shared how he admired their courageous spirit.
âThey went to spaces they weren’t allowed to,â Jenkins said.
Jenkins is keen to continue the journalistic and courageous work of his predecessors in the field to help inspire the next generation.
âI want them to be entertained and inspired by music,â Jenkins said. âNo matter where they are, I want them to listen. I want this to be where the world comes for hip hop. I want to be the voice of social issues. I want this to be a space of safe dialogue. I really want to do my part here.
Jenkins said that anyone’s dream can be achieved with connections, resources, and self-confidence.
âReach out to people who are in this field and immerse yourself in your desires,â Jenkins said. âThere are people who will help.