With Rap Snacks Radio, Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy Serves Up Satisfying Tunes for the Soul

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DJ Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy in the KPOO booth.

“Yes yes yes, boppers! Welcome. Bienvenidos. Aloha. Shalom.” A few minutes after 6pm on a Friday night, the smooth baritone offering a string of peaceful greetings over the KPOO 89.5 FM airwaves is Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy. His show, Rap Snacks Radio, is a relative newcomer to the KPOO family, and already establishing a fan base of devoted Snackheads.

The savory show highlights Bay Area greats like Too $hort, Mac Dre, and Tupac Shakur. Another signature feature, known as Rap Snacks Double Downs, lines up source samples back-to-back with hip-hop anthems. Joe Cocker’s “Woman to Woman” might sound out of place on a rap show—that is, until EPMD’s “Knick Knack Paddy Wack” fades in over it.

Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy got started in radio a few years ago after recording a PSA for his day job at a food bank, impressing the manager at Davis station KDRT with his crisp delivery. At the time, he was living in San Francisco but commuting north daily for work.

The mash-up was perfect. KDRT hadn’t had a hip-hop show in seven years. Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy, whose DJ moniker is a nod to E-40, is a serious soul record collector. His stacks of “buttery vinyl” were amassed over more than two decades of paid work and passion, including retail clerking at a Virgin Megastore and sharing obscure tunes through small mail-based CD exchanges.

For a year and a half, he’d drive two hours to do his one-hour Wednesday evening show—which with station IDs and PSAs, was actually only 58 minutes long—and stay with family before returning home the next day. It was a soulful but taxing (unpaid) slog. All the while, he hoped a beloved station much closer to home would nurture his talents.


Founded in 1971, San Francisco’s KPOO 89.5 FM focuses on programming for communities of people traditionally underserved by mainstream media, including Black, Latinx, and Native folks. The non-commercial station is entirely listener supported through annual fundraisers, and all KPOO DJs are volunteers. Once they settle into the KPOO family, many of the station’s broadcasters keep their shows for years, if not decades.

Since its inception, KPOO has been a groundbreaking West Coast presence, as well as the first Bay Area station to play reggae, salsa, and rap music; it lead other regional stations to start focusing on hip-hop. Bringing in a fresh show focusing on hip-hop history and classic tracks was obvious to station manager Jerome “JJ on D Radio” Parson.

As COVID-19 irreparably shifted schedules and lives, Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy started regularly filling in on Friday nights. Many of the station’s DJs still broadcast live from the Divisadero Street studio, wearing masks on the mic. A few in higher-risk categories have temporarily switched to pre-recording their shows or taken a break from broadcasting.

Last fall, Rap Snacks Radio became the permanent, four-hour Friday night show. Since then, Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy has only missed one week live in the studio, pre-recording that show to keep his deeply devoted fans satisfied. “Some people call me every single week, and some have made me art,” he reflects with awe. “People send me cookies!”

A crew of collaborators creates weekly graphics for Rap Snacks Radio.

One of the biggest hurdles to hosting a hip-shop show between the hours of 6 and 10pm is avoiding profanity, which the Federal Communications Commission allows only after 10pm. Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy doesn’t mind the extra effort required. “I like my show to be family-friendly,” he says, relying on his massive collection of 12” singles, many of which include clean cuts.

He’s also committed to nurturing a community, noting that unlike DJs who often try to hide their best obscure records and samples, “There’s a sharing and learning component to my show.” A whole crew of behind-the-scenes creative collaborators pitches in on weekly themes and graphics, including House of Doom, DJ Precise and Noh8tin. Call-in guests are common and have included young stars and legends like Lil B and Busy Bee Starski. Eventually, Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy wants to welcome even more performers and visual artists into the studio. “Once the world opens back up, it’s gonna be like a jamboree!” he says.

In a year of unspeakable difficulty and pain, Kay-Beezy Fa Sheezy’s Friday evening mix of joy and optimism nourishes him as much as it uplifts listeners. “I’m a hope dealer—that’s what I’m pushing,” he jokes. He also notes despite relentless enthusiasm from fans, “I focus on staying hungry, humble and happy,” using a line he often drops during his shows.

“This has gotta be about fun,” he adds. “The minute this goes to my head, the minute it’s a job or I’m trying to impress someone? I’m done.”