DJ Stretch Armstrong Show feat Bobbito [1990 & 1991] Feat Percee P & DMX Freestyle [REMASTERED]

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As the pair are returning to the airwaves on July 19th 2017 with a podcast on NPR, we thought we’d raid the RRR stash and share some of ‘the shit you just cant f**k wit’. This short testimonial collage is a ‘quick little excerpt’ featuring 30 minutes of segments from the embryonic elements of the award winning DJ Stretch Armstong Show Feat Bobbito. EVERY part used was broadcast in either 1990 or 1991. The focus is on the classic freestyles, from Percee P &, as he known at the time, DMX The Great.

After their 8 year run, The Source Magazine presented the DJ Stretch Armstrong Show Feat Bobbito with ‘The Best Hip Hop Radio Show Of All-Time’ award. The show was enjoyed by 1000s of people, whether they were tuning in live, or fortunate enough to be checkin out a dub of the show on a tape. But it wasnt just the music that won over their audiences. The show was presented with a warmth, a spirit of community and true friendship, and the unapologetic humour of NYC stoops.

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The show ran from 1990 – 1998, and just as the documentary movie ‘Stretch and Bobbito:Radio That Changed Lives’ documented the history, the middle-aged man-fans that grew up with the show, are still fiending for that goodness [FYI. If you consider yourself a fan of Hip-Hop or Rap, you are cheatin yourself if you havent seen this doc]. With language like ‘Good lookin Moneydooks’ and ‘You know we Buggin you lovely’, these shows are what RRR is all about, the language of Hip-Hop. As well as recounting the mic breaks, and the understandably unsophisticated approach, there’s a bit of music in here too, some Bolaji on Zakia Records, 45 King productions from Lord Alibaski and Chill Rob G, and a slice of BDP, live from Japan. They also mention ‘gettin good listener response’, which is adorable in the scheme of things. Chino BYI gets a shout as does someone called E-Bro #hardyharr

For RRR, hearin Kurious mistakenly refer to Stretch as Skinny Bones, highlights just how early some of this footage actually is. And with language like ‘Good lookin Moneydooks’ and ‘You know we Buggin you lovely’, these shows are about Hip-Hop, by Hip-Hop heads, and for Hip-Hop heads. As well as recounting the mic breaks, and the understandably unsophisticated approach, there’s a bit of music in here too, some Bolaji on Zakia Records, 45 King productions from Lord Alibaski and Chill Rob G, and a slice of BDP, live from Japan [Stretch would often tease listeners by playing cassettes of performances like this]. They also mention ‘gettin good listener response’, which is adorable in the scheme of things. Chino BYI gets a shout as does someone called E-Bro, and the whispers in the studio make mention of UltraMagnetic showin up as guests.

Big shouts to Billy Jam, D-HAM [‘Disco’ Dave the Culture Man], Nes @ Dirty Waters, DJ Step One, Michael Buchanan, Stretch & Bobbito & Ambassador Bonz Malone from Navarone !

Percee P & DMX Freestyles
Mic Break & Shouts w/ Kurious & Bobbito
Bolaji – Massive Material
WKCR Skinny Bones Show IDs
Chill Rob G – Motivation
The Source Magazine Mind Squad w/ Daddy Reef/ Disco Dave
Beasley B-79 Freestyle
Mic Break w/ Bobbito
UltraMagnetic MCs – Feelin It
BDP – Live in Japan
Mic Break w/ Stretch, Daddy Reef & Kurious
Lord Alibaski ?– Lyrics In Motion
Mic Break & Shouts w/ Stretch & Bobbito

Westwood – Kool G Rap [Live to London] October 1991

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I’m amazed at how many people from my generation want to put Tim down, so many people are still hatin on Tim. RRR post these shows for those that enjoyed the broadcasts at the time, for those of us that were travelling to jams and carryin on in the back of the car en route to a jam of their own. It’s for those that blasted these iconic tunes on the radio, the first time round, as the musical accompaniment to our weekends ! These shows are for the people that kept hold of those tapes and pop in an old dusty one when the mood takes them. We also care about the youth, so we share these as a form of education for those younger generations that wanna discover the Hip-Hop that marketing men and women the world over talk about. Hip-Hop and Rap in their purist form are not about histrionics, incongruous gossip or bitchmove drama, it’s all about Peace, UNITY, Love and Havin Fun !!!!!

As well as broadcasting the sounds of Hip-Hop since the mid-80s, Tim Westwood was always hugely in favour of bringing the party ‘To the Streets’ and by the time October 1991 rolled around, the Big Dawg of British Rap radio had already been playing club sets for years and was ‘guaranteed to rock a party’. This tape [from the days of The Arch in Vauxhall, and The Slammer in Gravesend, two UK venues synonymous with Westwood and the Rap club circuit of the period] was generously supplied by ex-label and industry head, Mr Lawson, and is proof of such. The Live to London sessions started on the Capital Rap Show around the late 80s and continued for years, with Tim creating a direct platform for American artists to perform in front of British audiences for the first time, in London and across the UK, promoting their releases, and their identity. These sessions went live to air on 95.8 FM for segments of each Live to London Capital Radio broadcast, the actual parties ‘rocked on’ until 5am. This session starts with bangers, goes into some Hip-Pop in the form of O.P.P. and Fu-Schnickens, before launching into an underrated Ragga set. Tim was a huge proponent of Ragga and Dancehall, dropped it in virtually every set, and probably does to this day. He naturally played the prevailing ‘riddims’ of the time, but listen out for the ‘dub-plate specials’ he was blessed with by artists like Cutty Ranks, Mad Cobra, Daddy Meeky & Little Meeky and Daddy Woody. Advocating Tims position and confirming that ‘Westwood, He Run The Road’ on one selection. The iconic and faultless ‘Yush’ promo by Mad Cobra kicks off the Ragga section of the set. Remember, these promos and ‘dub-plates’ were never released to anyone other than Tim, on albums, CDs, anywhere. He talks more about them in the clip below too. Towards the end of the set you can warm to the intimidating menace of Kool G Rap live on stage, performing a short-set to promote a full concert at Hammersmith Palais. He spits a few bars over Peter Piper & Paul C beats and the tape ultimately comes to a close with some more ’91 classics.

Tims delivery on the mic is absurdly entertaining throughout this tape, most notably as he proudly announces Juice Crew Manager Fly Ty is in the building. His delivery of shout-outs to people from other sound-systems is also golden, as is the moment that he jumps to Ice Cubes defence during Fuck Compton. As well as seminal lines like ‘As the Countdown Continues’, ‘Kicking the Vibes Downtown’ and how he describes his set as ‘The Peoples Choice’. The terms for the different people in the dance are gems too: Brixton-ites, Ghetto-ites, and Punany Mechanics for starters.

If you want to catch some immediate throwback goosebumps, go to 57:57 to hear Tim drop the classic Poison by Kool G Rap and then the Live to London anthem, Letter To The Better by Master Ace. DJ Polo and G Rap are wandering around this South London dance, and informed over the mic to ‘Leave the Skins Alone’. More than once. The ‘Original Marley Marl Armshouse Lick’ is dedicated to DJ Polo, affirming its place as a bonafide Live to London anthem. Tim then tells Polo ‘God Damn I Told You’ as the whistle posse blow feverishly and the crowd screams along, fundamentally, this tape wholly captures the energy of those parties. Again, big thanks to Mr Lawson.

If you dont like Westwood, then you probably shouldn’t be listening to this. Because that would make you a hypocrite. For the rest of us with a less blinkered attitude, it’s a different story, this is one of the gnarliest Live to London sets that RRR has ever laid ears on, enjoy…..

Leaders of the New School – Case of the P.T.A.
Tim Dog – Fuck Compton
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – The Creator
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – The Creator [Slide to the Side]
Naughty by Nature – O.P.P.
Nice & Smooth – Hip-Hop Junkies
Fu-Schnickens – Ring The Alarm
*Mad Cobra – Yush Dubplate [Yush]
*Cutty Ranks – Retreat Dubplate
Daddy Woody – Rammer Jammer [Rammer Jammer]
Mad Cobra – Unknown [Rammer Jammer]
Unknown – Unknown [Rammer Jammer]
Risto Benji – Passport Buddy [Passport Buddy]
Mad Cobra – Unknown [Gundelero]
*Daddy Meeky & Little Meeky – Tim Westwood ‘He Run The Road’ Dubplate
Unknown – Special Guest [Gundelero]
Capleton – Special Guest [Organizer]
Johnny P – Honour & Respect
Burro Banton – Boom Wah Dis [Street Sweeper]
Poison Chang – Visa Body
Unknown – Body Workshop ?
Unknown – Unknown
Unknown – Length & Strength [Piranha]
Pan Head – Gun Man Tune [Soap]
Tenor Saw – Ring The Alarm [Stalag]
*Reggie Stepper – Cu-Oonuh Dubplate [Stalag]
Kool G Rap – Poison
Kool G Rap – Road to The Riches
Ace & Action – Letter To The Better
Kool G Rap – Live
EPMD feat. LL Cool J – Rampage
Brand Nubian – Slow Down
UMCs – One to Grow On

Westwood – Capital Rap Show Feat Andre Harrell Interview – 10 May 1991

On this Capital Rap Show from May 1991, there’s a great interview with Andre Harrell, one part of the duo behind some of the first flushes of Rap on Profile Records [Dr.Jeckyll & Mr.Hyde]. Harrell started Uptown Records alongside Puffy in 86 and is considered one of the most iconic figures within the industry of Hip-Hop & Rap. He took Hip-Hop & Rap to unexpected places in the Nineties along with producers like Teddy Riley & Marley Marl, and people like Puffy. Here he discusses the world of Harlem, Buppy Rap, his movie project ‘Go Natalie’ [A working title, it switched up to ‘Strictly Business’ by the time of release], and why he switched from performing under the Dr.Jeckyll & Mr.Hyde moniker to artist management etc.

Tim also uses terms like ‘Stressin to the Bone’, which is never unfunny.

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As well as that, Westwood plays tracks off the NWA LP Niggaz4Life which was due to hit the streets in the following weeks, the World Premiere of Heavy D’s Hip-Pop classic ‘Now That We’ve Found Love’ is dropped, he plays yet another alternate version of Marley Marl No BS [with the ‘I’m Your Puppet’ break and the Mr Magic diss removed] as well as another version of the LL cut I Get Busy [with yet more alternate lyrics].

NB: Jonathan Shecter AKA @sheckygreen AKA Jay the Sultan, also mentions a compelling performance during The Source Magazine weekly update: At a surprise birthday party for MC Serch at the Redzone, all four members of the cast of ‘Live At The BBQ’ appeared on stage, to perform ‘Live At The BBQ’. Now that’s some Hip-Hop holy grail ‘isht !!!