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Oakland Week: Sway Calloway, the King of Hip Hop Media

Sway Calloway 2By Stranga The Great
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Hip Hop Vibe’s celebration of Oakland Week continues and today it picks up with a spotlight of their legend, Sway Calloway. Whether an Oakland rapper is hot or not, the city will always be at the forefront of the hip hop world when Sway Calloway is on. He started off as a radio personality and became the face of MTV.

Sway Calloway doubles as a journalist and a astute businessman, as he is the executive producer of “MTV News.” Early in his career, Sway Calloway began as a rapper on the Oakland hip hop scene, linking up with DJ King Tech. They became a duo that was known as Sway and King Tech.

As a duo, Sway and King Tech landed a major label record deal and they even put out an album. This album led to opportunities neither of them saw coming, when they were given their own radio show, “The Wake Up Show.” Sway Calloway the journalist was born then and he is the archetype for rappers-turned-journalists.

Through “The Wake Up Show,” Sway helped open doors for many of the biggest current rappers in the game, including Eminem. Ahead of the curve when it came to the talent, Sway Calloway ended up hosting more radio shows for KMEL, but it soon led to a major transition. MTV reached out to Sway to become a personality for him, moving “The Wake Up Show” to New York City and it briefly became a show on the network.

A lot of changes have taken place at both MTV and within Sway Calloway’s career. But, he took on a bigger role at MTV in 2006 that has landed him both reporter, corresponded, and executive producer of many of the network’s programs. Sway Calloway has transcended hip hop music, as he is brought on to deliver the news both music and non-music related. He has gone from doing interviews with rappers to interviewing the president.

When thinking of hip hop journalism, Sway Calloway is the name that comes up. In his current capacity, Sway Calloway was returned to radio when Eminem created a morning show for him on Shade 45, “Sway in the Morning.” “The Wake Up Show” also was brought back and is nationally syndicated. Even though Sway now lives in New York City, he keeps Oakland in his heart and his mind and all of his moves keep the Oakland scene relevant in the mainstream hip hop world.

Follow Stranga The Great on Twitter @StrangaTheGreat.

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