Frank William Miller Junior, from Brooklyn, NY, to the Philippines, to Texas and then back to New York hip-hop has been to Frank William Miller Junior what Shaq means to the Phoenix Suns; without that dominate force the Suns will never grasp that illustrious championship and hip-hop will never have had access to the unspoken stories without FWMJ’s RappersIknow. Working at hip-hop pioneer radio station HOT97 by day, FWMJ is their Art Director, by night he’s on a mission to put out the greatest music that may or may not ever reach the mainstream airwaves and since were about history making and people who have made unconditional contributions to hip-hop we present to you the internal workings of FWMJ.
Scheme: When did you first run into hip-hop and the music?
FWMJ: Probably like the late 80’s, ‘87-’88, my father was in the Air Force and we were stationed in the Philippines. Of course the few Black people on the base would have house parties every now and then. My family went over another persons families’ house and someone was playing LL Cool J in the house, it was strange to me because it was unlike anything else I heard. Then there was another neighborhood on the Air Force base and this guy used to make mixtapes and Rakim and LL Cool J were some of the first joints I heard. As I got older I was buying the Kris Kross and the Hammer tapes and that was pretty much it.
Actually the art director for the parent company that owns HOT97 was familiar with the Foreign Exchange art work I did. When he saw it was me applying for the job he put in a good word for me in New York and they went with it.
The name started out as a joke between me and Kay and we were trying to figure out what we were going to call it when we were giving away all these songs and at first we were going to call it n*ggasIknow (laughs), but then I thought, my mother might see this website so we decided to go with RappersIknow. Basically it’s my frustration with the lack of balance and to get people’s stories and narratives who have been shutout.