DJ Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia, two legends from the Rap radio game have returned to splash the airwaves, this time, on NPR with a brand new show by the name of What’s Good. This first episode is an interesting, imaginative and unsurprisingly amusing conversation with Dave Chappelle and Donnell Rawlings, two incredibly funny comedians.
Listening to the opening few minutes of the show is alarming, but simply due to structure. Hearing them behaving seriously, even as they preface the show with station acknowledgements is jarring, simply cos they don’t burst into laughter. It sets the tone for a great opening episode. These new epiosdes are not live, they’re pre-recorded, yet they are still the same goofball pals when the shows broadcast. It’s a show where listeners will hear discussions, exchanges and cultured conversations with stimulating people, ‘about art, music, politics, sports and a whole lot more’.
The Samsung shows they did last year were evidently extemporaneous, they featured the same organic ad-hoc flex that was so popular during the WKCR days. But that was two decades and change ago. On What’s Good, don’t expect freestyles from some bummy MC you heard a demo from in 95 !!
In the trailer for the show, they make note that they will be parlaying with ‘cultural influencers, movers and shakers’, yet that’s exactly what they are themselves. This alone has RRR ‘bugging lovely’, considering the kinda guests that might feature in the future. Cross ya fingers they sit down with some of those Samsung guests again ! Forthcoming NPR guests already include the legendary musician Stevie Wonder, Chance the Rapper, Eddie Huang, RTJ and Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. These two are movie-makers, these two are authors and music consultants, DJs and parents, and partly because of their knowledge and history, this show a truly enjoyable listen. For those that only remember the pair from their bugged out days on WKCR, some buggin is evident, and as you may have predicted, the show is on NPR, therefore it’s grown, cultured, and dare we call em this without expecting to receive hella snaps, but it’s sophisticated. The warmth of their individual characters is evident throughout the convos with Donnell and Dave, and their passion for all things positive follows the same trend.
Real talk, a fair percentage of older WKCR listeners must admit that some of the most entertaining sections of the 4 hour shows that aired between 1990 – 1998 were aired between 4-5am, commonly known as crunchtime [kiddies]. This was the part of the night were no music was played, just studio guests and callers gettin castigated, joked and snapped on, sometimes with enough comedic posture that they had the people at home cryin with laughter. So it’s beautiful to hear them again, and it’s a great format for the pair, just breakin bread with good folk. Thankfully, they break bread in the most astute, down-to-earth and refreshing way, as you should expect. It’s grown folk talk from an intelligent Hip-Hop viewpoint. And cmon, how many Rap radio legends use the word extemporaneously ? Harrrdy harr !!!
This first episode is hopefully the first of many, halalulu !
If you haven’t watched the movie mapping their time on the award winning show on WKCR, sort your life out. It can be watched on Netflix in 190 countries, and you can also get involved here.
During 1988, Ice-T played the rear [ayoo] on his self-produced compilation ‘Rhyme Syndicate Comin’ Through’. The album was a platform to promo new artists on his roster. He wasnt a legendary movie or TV star at this juncture. On the album, he played the wall and allowed old school B-Boy Donald D, and a host of sick new Rappers to shine; Bango, Domination [Kid Jazz/ Kid Scratch], TDF and more. Aside from Low Profile, Everlast and Ice himself, only a few of the names went on to do big things within the industry, sadly not enough for our liking.
In a similar fashion, on this Capital Rap Show session plucked from a ferric tape from 28 years ago, Ice drops a so-called ‘freestyle’ which later became the Iceberg track from the same LP. He then gives top-billing to the MC’s he was on tour with. Syndicate members Bango, Hen-Gee alongside his Brother [and Ice’s DJ] Evil-E, as well the ‘impressario, majestic’ King T.
The verses on this are great, it’s that simple, Evil E cuts up a few beats live in the studio, alongside host Tim Westwood and one of the coolest white boys in history, Dave Funkenklein. Some rhymes you’ll recognise, and some RRR have never heard before or since owning this tape. Bango, is gnarly, describing himself as the ‘life taker and trouble maker’ but it’s legendary Compton rapper King T that takes the crown on this short clip, in our opinion. Bub.
The original tape sounded like it was recorded in the back of an Uber, but RRR have attempted to chunk it up a touch. It was paused a number of times, and again, we’ve done our best to keep it fluid [A crispy copy of this has been on the wants list for a long stroke] !
As ever, huge propers to all involved. Arguably, we wouldnt be here today, if people like Ice T and Tim Westwood hadnt paved the way.
Ice T remains to be a perfect example of how to stay true to your roots. He’s a family man and a TV star in 2017, but hopefully [in terms of the birth and growth of Hip-Hop and growin up in the hood], his Final Level podcast is one of the finest and most comprehensive on the web.
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.
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