By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 14, 2008 at 11:19 AM

While most Milwaukee music fans know DJ Madhatter as the master of the turntables for hip-hop trio The Rusty Ps, his new position as the weekday morning host at 88Nine RadioMilwaukee introduces him to local audiences as a different kind of DJ, one known to friends, family and listeners as Jordan Lee.

Lee hit the drive-time airwaves Dec. 1. His personable demeanor and his deep and diverse appreciation for many genres of music and the community that it creates makes him a great fit for the Morning Drive show (Monday-Friday, 5-9 a.m.). Still, he calls the experience thus far "surreal"

"I would have never said I'd be working in radio," he says. "I'd just always had a bleh feeling about programmed radio, but when this station came along, it changed my perspective on that. With that came the ability for me to take pride in what we're playing."

RadioMilwaukee makes it a point to play local music every hour, a definite job perk for someone so intricately woven into the scene.

"I'm in a scenario where I get to actually talk about Milwaukee bands that I know personally. This morning I played Freshwater Collins and I can say, 'Hey, that was Chris and this is what they do and I've played three shows with them. They're great.' We get to put a spotlight on Milwaukee music in a really special way."

While all the DJs are expected to follow the station's playlists -- featuring artists like Oasis, The Roots, Santogold, Fugees, Air and The Clash -- Lee says he differentiates his show with special extras, like his "7 O'clock Sample" segment on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"I play an old-school hip-hop or electronic track and then I play the original sample that (the artist) used in that track. It's a fun little thing to open people's minds musically and get them into something they might not have been into before."

His Friday feature is called "My Year in Music," a way for Lee to tell stories through music. He picks a year -- say 1999, the year he moved to Milwaukee - and plays three songs he vehemently listened to during that time: Filter's "Hey Man," Lauren Hill's "Lost Ones" and "Better Days" by Citizen King.

Throughout December he'll keep it autobiographical, then turn it over to the listeners in the new year and tell their three-song stories.

"That's parallel to my overall mission for the show, which is to make people feel like they're hanging around their neighbors -- that's the feel I want. I think a lot of times in morning radio you have this feeling of being told, or looking into a one-sided conversation, like with TV. I want my morning show to be more like a two-way conversation between myself and the listener and he or she is free to call me or respond any time they want. I want people to get involved."

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”