Stretch and Bobbito reunited last Thursday night on WKCR 89.9 to promote their event at the New Museum, the reunion ep focused on the year 1993 — which they felt was a seminal year for the show and coincides with the theme of the museum’s NYC 1993 exhibit. Clips of sets, freestyles, and hilarious convos were played and reminisced upon. And to end it, they brought it back with a few phone calls where listeners got clowned on heavily.
Download both parts of the reunion ep, here and here.
Stretch & Bobbito, or Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia, do one of those dope Red Bull Music Academy sit-downs (not dope because it’s Red Bull Music Academy) with the sagely Chairman Mao as the host/moderator (that’s more like it).
Ah, the days of 89Tec9. Staying up late with your tape(s) ready whilst praying that the auto-reverse on your deck (or alarm clock, if you didn’t have a newer hi-fi system/boombox) doesn’t fail you in one of the many ways it could. Those morning-after moments where the tape went right into your walkman as you started your day’s journey and heard everything with a much clearer head (pause/ayo). The first time you gathered enough courage to call-in during “Crunch Time.” Your second call-in when you tried to heat back Lord Sear. The “best of” tapes you and your crew made off of the show’s live freestyles and various demo joints. The third time you called in, a year later, because you thought that “things will be different since I got better with my rhymes.”
This is required viewing for all of you PTP heads as there are so many poignant jewels being dropped throughout…and as previously noted in my post regarding last year’s reunion, it’s just plain good to see how the duo has maintained their veritable sense of comradery and “working chemistry” (pause, again). Regardless of what clash caused the show’s demise in the late 90′s, 4 (hours)-times-52 (weeks)-times-8 (years) spent in a windowless room with one another is a lot of bread broken. Thankfully, neither Stretch nor Bob has murdered the other, further proving the old bit about “what won’t kill you…”
About 30:21 into it, where they are describing the regular call-in masochists, and Bob tells the story of the cat who had just shot someone… yeah. A-fucking-mazing.
To those of you who have compared Fresh Out The Box to Stretch & Bob? You guys are far too fucking kind and, perhaps, a little delusional (but we really, really thank you as that is probably the highest compliment next to “FOTB stops global hunger and bad parenting”). There’s plenty more trail for Note and I to cover in order for that comparison to be even remotely possible, and hopefully we can discover something completely unique to us (in terms of approach)…or maybe we have already…while at it.
Props to Nasty Vaz TCK for the heads up (pause, again x 2).
Kid Hood was one of those cats who came and went far too quickly – to the point where dude is now a 90′s rap folk legend. What’s both sad and funny is the fact that many people know duke’s relentless wordsmithage from the set-off of Tribe‘s “Scenario Remix,” and (most likely) hundreds of thousands more know his one line from the cuts on Biggie‘s “Gimme The Loot” (“I’m a bad, bad man!”), yet it is safe to say that 99% of these people would not be able to put a name to those bars. (Let’s also not forget the cuts on The Juggaknots’ “Troubleman”)
The following is the type of aficionado historian shit that makes our week. On some late night campfire steez. The premise is that of how “Drop The Bomb,” the only other song to publicly surface containing Kid Hood vocals (via Stretch & Bobbito), came to be. The recent discovery was the fact that this demo joint started as just bare verses on a cassette, posthumously welded together to a beat. Oh, but it gets deeper. Dr. Frankenstein, in this case, was played by a young El-Producto (or El-P of (pre) Company Flow/Def Jux fame). Click the following link for El’s own walk down memory lane on how it all went down. It’s story-time kiddies!
This is a tape that’s a “Best Of” containing appearances of various emcees that came through Stretch & Bob’s show on WKCR in 1996. Featuring verses from … Mobb Deep, IM3, Non Phixion, ODB, Jay-Z, O.C., Buckshot, Pharoahe Monch, KRS One, De La Soul, L The Headtoucha and more. Get up out that nap and grab the tape here.
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.
Of course the following footage (props to The 7th Boro) and these photos don’t do the night a lick of justice, but it beats being left with only my words resonating.
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?).