Last updated
City Chicago
Frequency 88.5 MHz
Slogan The Pride of the South Side [1]
Format College radio, community radio
Owner University of Chicago
First air date
March 22, 1968 (1968-03-22) [2]
Former call signs
WHPK-FM (1968-2016)
Former frequencies
88.3 MHz (19681985)
Call sign meaning
Woodlawn/Hyde Park/Kenwood [2]
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID 69000
Class A (NCE)
ERP 100 watts
HAAT 37 meters (121 ft)
Public license information
Website www.whpk.org

WHPK (88.5 FM) [3] is an American radio station based in Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago, established in 1968. The station is owned by the University of Chicago, and operated by volunteer students and community members. WHPK's station manager and program director are elected by the station's student members and must be students themselves. The station's broadcast engineer is paid by the university.



Mitchell Tower, University of Chicago Reynolds Club building where the station's studios are located. Reynoldsclub.JPG
Mitchell Tower, University of Chicago Reynolds Club building where the station's studios are located.

In 1968, WHPK-FM was established when the campus secret Society of the Owl and Serpent disbanded, donating its funds and Reynolds Club office space to a student radio group. WHPK-FM started broadcasting as a 15-watt FM station at 88.3 MHz on March 22, 1968. In 1985, WHPK-FM upgraded to a 100-watt transmitter and moved to the current frequency of 88.5 MHz. [2]

WHPK-FM was the first radio station to broadcast hip hop music in Chicago, and would become home to aspiring rappers throughout the years, including Common [3] and Kanye West. [4]

The station changed its call sign to the current WHPK on February 26, 2016.


Programming blocks are divided into classical, folk, international, jazz, public affairs, rap, rock, and specialty show formats. [1]


In 1984, WHPK-FM's first rap show was established by Ken Wissoker. [5] DJ JP Chill has had a rap and hip hop show on WHPK since 1986. [6]

A long-running Saturday night show, The Blues Excursion, is hosted by a widely received radio personality named Arkansas Red. [7]


In 2008, WHPK-FM was awarded "Best College Radio Station" by Chicago Reader . [8]

Related Research Articles

Kanye West American rapper, record producer, fashion designer, and politician from Illinois

Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, singer, record producer, businessman, politician, and fashion designer. He has been influential in the 21st-century development of mainstream hip hop, popular music, and popular culture in general.

CKLN-FM Former campus and community radio station in Toronto

CKLN-FM was a community radio station based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Canadian hip hop

The Canadian hip hop scene was established in the 1980s. Through a variety of factors, it developed much more slowly than Canada's popular rock music scene, and apart from a short-lived burst of mainstream popularity from 1989 to 1991, it remained largely an underground phenomenon until the early 2000s.

CKDU-FM Radio station at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia

CKDU-FM is a non-profit radio station broadcasting from the campus of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It airs a campus radio format serving the Halifax Regional Municipality area and is operated by the not-for-profit CKDU-FM Society. Its mandate is to provide the Halifax area with an alternative to public and private radio broadcasting. The 2,460 watt transmitter reaches the urban core of Halifax and adjacent communities.

CITR-FM Radio station at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver

CiTR-FM, is a Canadian FM radio station based out of the University of British Columbia's Student Union Building in the University Endowment Lands, just west of the city limits of Vancouver, British Columbia. Its transmitter is also located on campus.

KBBD Radio station in Spokane, Washington

KBBD is the Spokane, Washington, adult hits music formatted radio station whose slogan is "We Play Whatever". The Stephens Media Group station broadcasts at 103.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 39,000 watts.

WBBM-FM Contemporary hit radio station in Chicago

WBBM-FM is a Top 40 (CHR) radio station in Chicago. It is known on the air as B96 and it is owned by Audacy, Inc. The station has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 3,300 watts, broadcasting from a transmitter atop the Willis Tower. The studios and offices are located at Two Prudential Plaza in the Loop. WBBM-FM's main competition is 103.5 WKSC-FM, owned by iHeartMedia.

WVAZ Radio station in Oak Park–Chicago, Illinois

WVAZ is an urban adult contemporary radio station serving the Chicago metropolitan area and Northwest Indiana. Licensed to Oak Park, Illinois, WVAZ is owned by iHeartMedia, alongside sister stations WGCI-FM, WKSC-FM, and WGRB.

WBMX is a commercial FM radio station in Chicago, Illinois, serving the Chicago metropolitan area and Northwest Indiana. The station is owned by Audacy, Inc. and airs a classic hip hop radio format.

WGCI-FM Urban contemporary radio station in Chicago

WGCI-FM is an Urban Contemporary radio station that is licensed to Chicago, Illinois, serving the Chicago metropolitan area and Northwest Indiana. It is owned and operated by iHeartMedia.

WOJO Regional Mexican radio station in Evanston, Illinois

WOJO is a radio station broadcasting a regional Mexican format. Licensed to Evanston, Illinois, United States, the station serves the Chicago area. The station is currently owned by Tichenor License Corporation, a division of Uforia Audio Network.

The hip hop scene in Chicago, Illinois, has produced many artists of various styles. Rappers in Chicago include Polo G, Kanye West, Do or Die, Common, Da Brat, Lupe Fiasco, Chance the Rapper, Rhymefest, SEVENSIXX, Bump J, Chief Keef, Cupcakke, Lil Durk, King Louis, King Von, Shawnna, Noname, Fredo Santana, Calboy, G Herbo, Jay Lyn Gatz, Lil Bibby, Crucial Conflict, Open Mike Eagle, Jeremih, Juice WRLD, Juice, Saba, Ramaj Eroc, Lud Foe, Twista, Young Pappy, L’A Capone, RondoNumbaNine,

KBVR-FM is a student-run non-commercial radio station broadcasting a variety format. Licensed to Corvallis, Oregon, United States, the station is currently owned by Oregon State University. KBVR-FM is part of Orange Media Network, the student media department at OSU.

WONU Christian radio station of Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Illinois

WONU is a non-commercial FM radio station licensed to Kankakee, Illinois, United States, and serving the region south of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is a non-profit, listener-supported station owned and operated by Olivet Nazarene University, which is located in Bourbonnais, Illinois. It airs a Christian Contemporary Music radio format.

WSRB Urban adult contemporary radio station in Lansing, Illinois

WSRB is an urban Adult Contemporary radio station serving the Chicago metropolitan area and Northwest Indiana. It is licensed to the Southland suburb of Lansing, Illinois, and transmits within that city from a tower along the north side of the Kingery Expressway. The station is owned by Crawford Broadcasting and its studios are in Hammond, Indiana.

Minneapolis hip hop is hip hop or rap music that originates from the Minneapolis metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Minnesota.

WUTK-FM is a variety formatted non-commercial, non-profit, broadcast radio station licensed to Knoxville, Tennessee and serving Metro Knoxville. WUTK is owned and operated by the University of Tennessee; however, WUTK's daily operations are not funded by the university; instead, they rely on donations from listeners and local businesses. WUTK-FM signed on in February 1982 from studios located in P-103 of Andy Holt Tower with an antenna on the roof generating 128.7 watts. WUTK now broadcasts with over 1000 watts, streams worldwide at WUTKRadio.com and on the Tune In and RadioFX apps.

Go Hard (DJ Khaled song) 2008 single by DJ Khaled featuring Kanye West and T-Pain

"Go Hard" is the second single from DJ Khaled's third studio album, We Global. The track features American rapper Kanye West and American singer T-Pain and their trademark auto-tune effect. The song is produced by The Runners and it samples Madonna's 1985 song "Angel". It first charted on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip Hop chart on December 4, 2008, debuting at number 25, where it peaked at number 15, and charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs debuting at number 85 and then rising to number 53. It also debuted at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 the same week the album We Global was released due to digital downloads, also at number 19 on the Hot Rap Tracks.

Talib Kweli American rapper from New York

Talib Kweli Greene is an American rapper, entrepreneur, broadcaster and activist. Kweli earned recognition early on through his collaboration with fellow Brooklyn rapper Mos Def, when they formed the group Black Star. Kweli's musical career continued with solo success including collaborations with producers and rappers Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Pharrell Williams. His most recent solo album is titled Gotham, released in 2020. In 2011, Kweli founded his own record label, Javotti Media.


  1. 1 2 "About". WHPK. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 "WHPK: Still spinnin' after all these years". 15 (7). University of Chicago Chronicle. December 7, 1995. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  3. 1 2 Austen, Jake (April 27, 2011). "Chicago memories: Common". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  4. Drapa, Michael (December 5, 2011). "WHPK hosted Common/Kanye faceoff—before they were stars". University of Chicago. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  5. Obaro, Tomi (December 5, 2011). "Pioneering WHPK keeps Chicago rap fresh". University of Chicago. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  6. Sisson, Patrick (July 16, 2006). "Chicago Hip-hop History ... A Tour". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  7. Terry, Clifford (May 30, 1993). "Arkansas Red's House Party: Weekly Blues, Talk Show Has South Side Listening". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  8. "Best of Chicago 2008 - Reader's Choice: WHPK". Chicago Reader . 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2008.

Coordinates: 41°47′38″N87°35′56″W / 41.794°N 87.599°W / 41.794; -87.599