After being laid off in January after 15 years on 95.7-FM The Beat, Tampa Bay hip-hop godfather DJ Sandman undoubtedly felt a little down. But that didn’t last long. He remembered that it was him that made his radio segments great, and he knew he wanted to keep shining a light on the local scene he’s loved since he went to Madison Middle School. So together with Symphonic Distribution, Sandman launched the Illsboro record label and “Next Up” podcast which’ll shine a light on up-and-coming talent whether it’s signed to Illsboro or not. Sandman’s first act was enough to cement his status as a local legend, but there’s reason to believe the encore will be even better. His speakers are the best, after all. djsandman.com —Ray Roa
See all winners from Best of the Bay 2020.