Wow. The Stretch & Bobbito reunion, two nights ago at Le Poisson Rouge, still has my head buggin’ (and apparently everyone else who was there are with me on that, as people are still talking about it 3 days later). Not only was it amazing/magical to see the duo (plus Sear) together again, as well as the legends who came up to show their never ending support/gratitude through seemingly impromptu performances, but the crowd of like-minded people who gathered to say thanks as a community that shared the “89Tec9” era as a vital part of their respective up&comings was truly the cement keeping the night standing high with emotion and general good feeling. No doubt the lines were long (one being to MANDATORY coat check), but they were filled with constant exchanges of “what year did you start listening,” favorite tape brands, preferred tape lengths (those 120’s would pop on you quick if your box/walkman was on its last legs!), the gift of auto-reverse, your favorite demos/freestyles, etc. which then inevitably turned into nothing but laughter, daps, and unexpected generosity at “cash-only” points (a favor then returned two-fold at the bar inside).
It was also insanely good to see the huddles of old/new friends in the spot, and thinking about the microcosmic details (’96 indie rap vocab) of how said friends span such a wide spectrum of background, age, location, social circle, and era to that of my own life was even more mindfuckingly…pointless, but still, a good reminder of how important Stretch & Bob’s radio presence was to us as a collective force. The duo took that torch from Mr. Magic, Marley, and Red Alert in the 90’s, and thus, spearheaded a new movement of people who cared enough to obtain their hip hop in the most unadulterated form possible – staying up, setting alarms for a tape switch, or pestering the one cat who did any of the aforementioned before school/work on Friday was just a part of the process we’ve been taking pride in for years now.
Finally, it felt a lot like the first time I went to Wetlands in ’96 (?). Just as it was back then, there was no breakwind stench of tactics to increase revenue for a parentally-handed ad network. No corny grocery list blog politics. Just the team who helped us achieve the most proper of hip hop supervision and the music by which we were supervised – from Hurricane G’s demo banger, “Milky”, and Big L & Jay-Z’s freestyle over Milkbone’s “Keep It Real”, to Saukrates’ “Father Time” and CNN’s “T.O.N.Y.” At the end, you were left stumbling into that cab at 4AM, smelling like an ashtray, ears still ringing with half-a-voice and ready to review your tape in the morning.
Bonus…for a more comprehensive (i.e. no cut-offs), less crowd-immersed angle of the show, check the following Grand Good footy…including the late edition Natural Elements closer:
Editor’s Note: I’m aware that this may sound a bit idealistic, but frankly, if you felt otherwise, you still have that underground elitist stick up your ass (ayo). Get laid cockhead (double ayo?).