STRETCH ARMSTRONG AND BOBBITO
The Village Voice declared the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show "the best hip hop show in New York" and Source voted it "best hip-hop show of all time".
I often talk about new york city’s old school days, particularly what it was like in the late 90’s (aka the golden era of hip hop). one guy that always stood out then ( and now) is DJ Stretch Armstrong. He ruled the city’s club scene and changed hip hop as we know it by understanding that underground music was heading to the mainstream.
He got his start in the late ’80s and ’90s in underground clubs and was responsible for ushering in a new era of hip-hop, dancehall, reggae, funky beats and House. Stretch, (aka adrian bartos) met Robert Garcia (Bobbito) At Def Jam label where Bobbito was working as an A&R while Stretch was a dj on the hunt for fresh record promos to play at gigs. He was also planning to enroll at Columbia so he approached their radio station WKCR about doing a HIP HOP show during the summer of 1990.. The show Stretch armstrong and Bobbito, aired from 1 to 5 am on thursday nights and it gave many unsigned artists the opportunity to expose their talent. legends such as nas, Notorious b.i.g. Busta rhymes, jay-z, dmx, BIG PUN, ( you name it). many of them stopped in for quick freestyle sessions,, while still relatively unknown. The show was recognized for introducing listeners to newbie artists like wu-tang, Mobb Deep, and Eminem -and together they created a global cultural phenomenon,
‘Beastie Boys and Beatnuts sampled excerpts from our show for hooks on their songs and they never gave us anything. We were happy. We were like, ‘Oh shit, fucking Beastie Boys listen to our show! That’s cool.’- bobbito
Stretch has since taken his expertise into music supervision as a consultant for brands developing their musical identity and His first book, titled "No Sleep: NYC Club Flyer Art, 1988-1999," was released through Powerhouse Books. I’ve added some additional links below, including a recent podcast with one of my favourites- The beastie boys. Today Stretch and Bobbito share history and discuss their new NPR podcast on Spotify, where you can listen to all the latest "What's Good with Stretch and Bobbito" episodes as well as enjoy their new playlist.
COver photo of Stretch Armstrong, by Leila Antakly circa 2006.