On Monday at midday, Triple J’s digital radio station Dig Music took a break from its regular programming for 48 hours for the lead-up for its relaunch as Double J tomorrow at midday.
To fill the stopgap until new presenter Myf Warhust rolls out the Double J rebrand at midday Wednesday 30th April, the station is currently playing one tune, ‘Express Yourself’, on repeat.
Multiple versions of N.W.A.’s ‘Express Yourself’ from the historic rap group’s 1988 debut Straight Outta Compton to be precise, including different cover versions of the track and its original, sampled inspiration: the Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band’s 1971 single of the same name.
In the last 24 hours, renditions by Aussie artists like Wagons, Darren Hanlon, Katalyst, and The Audreys have been spun alongside performances by Jack Johnson, Labrinth, and The Silencers among 13 different versions all in all (here, take a look).
The ‘Express Yourself’ stunt is actually a tip of the hat to a strike by Triple J staff made in 1989, as Sydney Morning Herald reports, which is doubly a homage to Double J’s new mission of paying respects to the station’s long history while providing a healthy dose of new music that has made its flagship youth station the dominant broadcasting force it is today. The ‘Express Yourself’ stunt is actually a tip of the hat to a strike by Triple J staff made in 1989.
The original Triple J 1989 strike saw presenters playing N.W.A.’s ‘Express Yourself’ for 24 hours non-stop (around 360 plays) after the rap group’s ‘Fuck Tha Police’ was removed from the station’s playlist under orders by ABC management, in turn pressured by a government ban on the song. In reference to that day, a scratch sample from ‘Fuck Tha Police’ has been used as part of the Triple J news theme ever since.
Double J’s current ‘Express Yourself’ ad infinitum homage will end tomorrow at midday when former Spicks & Specks and Triple J host Myf Warhust has the honours of rolling out the new station’s roster of presenters and programming (before taking up regular hosting duties from 11am – 3pm weekdays).
The Double J relaunch follows on from a six month consultation period of audience and industry feedback after Triple J first took over the ABC digital radio station last October, presenting it as a “diverse and unique offering aimed at the 30+ discerning music lover” who is “ready for something beyond Triple J.”
The new station will mirror 10% of Triple J’s own programming, but Double J will also focus on the audience’s calls for ‘old favourites’ by programming “the iconic music you grew up with” as well as drawing from Triple J’s extensive sound archives (so expect more broadcasting like the recent special on the 20th Anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death).
The big question hovering over the Double J official relaunch is what will be the first song to be played on the rebranded station?
The original 2JJ – Triple J’s 1974 AM-band precursor – christened the airwaves with Skyhooks ‘You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good In Bed’, significant because the Aussie rock song was banned by censors at the time.
One thing’s for certain, dedicated Double J listeners probably don’t want another spin of this for quite some time.