What’s Good with Stretch & Bobbito on NPR – Review

STRETCH BOBBITO

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 !!

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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.

 

 

Ice T King T & Rhyme Syndicate Freestyle Session – Feb 1989 [REMASTERED]

Rhyme Syndicate session on Capital Radio - February 1989

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Boogie Down Productions & KRS1 – Nah Go Commercial [Unreleased 1989 track]

This one is for the KRS completists…

As well the live set, Tim used to play rough versions of forthcoming albums off tape, and this is one of those tracks that never made it to the finished Ghetto Music LP. An unreleased track from, as Tim describes them, the ‘ALMIGHTY Boogie Down Productions crew’ with a cut called ‘Nah Go Commercial’….This just makes reminds me that the majority of the 2017 generation of MCs and Rappers chump themselves.

‘I’ll never crossover with the lyrics I write, or the realistic music I make.

Cos the crossover crowd wanna dream all day, while the ghetto crowd must stay awake.

But it always happens, someone starts Rappin and they wrap up they minds with glamour.

But KRS stays real, instead of eatin caviar, me eat red snapper’

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Boogie Down Productions – Live from London 13 July 1989 [Capital Radio]

Boogie Down Productions, one of the few Rap outfits since the Cold Crush to have such a polished live show, that they could release a live album. This performance is evidence of that. RRR are all about bringin these gems back to life. For the old school crew and the new jacks. Weve left a shard of Pete Tong from the same tape at the beginning [for gigglesnshits], and before the audio of the show, there’s the original ad for the show, from the week before.

At one point, KRS says ‘Were doin this for Capital Radio, they have this on cassette, so you may hear this style one day’. That was 28 years ago today, you are welcome. And of course, HUMUNGANOID propers to Tim Westwood for havin the passion and belief to put these jams on in the first instance.

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This is post-Scott La Rock BDP; the KRS & D-Nice BDP, Ms. Melodie/ Harmony and Rebekah BDP. Live in London, performing a grip of their hits, as well as a bunch of songs from their ‘forthcoming’ LP Ghetto Music. This was broadcast on 21 July 1989 on Tim Westwoods’ Capital Rap Show as part of the Capital Radio Continental Airlines music festival. For Hip-Hop [and Go-Go] outfits wanting to cater to a more substantial crowd than the usual sweat-soaked hotboxes, the Town and Country Club was THE venue of choice during the late Eighties. The show was the LIVEST Rap set that RRR have ever attended, and weve seen a few, trust. It’s never been shared in the past, anywhere, aside from the 3 tracks which were available on the 1991 release Live Hardcore Worldwide; Up To Date, Why Is That & Stop The Violence. So, sit back and jam the box to this old school classic set !

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BDP ticket 13 July 1989