Girth Radio Presents…
We’re entering a strange and unmapped area of hip hop: it’s existed long enough that it is time to look back and recognize—like tracks in the snow—just how far we’ve traversed.
Jay-Z and Q-Tp are 45 years old, two years older than Eminem. Dre is 50. It’s awfully hard for any of hip hop’s elder statesmen to convincingly rap about the mean streets. These are the breaks.
Tupac, Biggie, Jam Master Jay and J Dilla are dead. That ain’t no joke.
Hip hop is slowly deeply maturing while still struggling with its most prominent contradiction the street vs the boardroom. Like your past you can only make peace with contradictions.
Thankfully over the past few years we’ve seen documentaries affably recognizing hip hop’s colourful past covering fresh fashion (Fresh Dressed), landmark albums (Time is Illmatic), iconic tribes (Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest) and the actual art form…MCing (Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap). It’s a rich almost a 30 for 30 goldmine.
This past Summer Straight Outta Compton captivated audiences by offering a window into a bygone era. I heard 2 young brothers on the street discussing Compton; wondering what it was like to live in that era. Heh…so wanted to lean over and drop some knowledge on the youth. You have no idea how utterly startlingly N.W.A was unless you were there.
Now those youth and us older folk have another documentary to eagerly consume…this one focused on another important element of properly establishing hip hop: radio.
From 1990 to 1998 on WKCR a New York City radio station The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show featured exclusive demo tapes and in-studio freestyles from then-unsigned hip hop artists: Nas, Big Pun, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, DMX, Wu-Tang Clan, Fugees, Talib Kweli and The Notorious B.I.G. Yes.
Behold the trailer for the documentary Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives:
Sammy Status: I dunno this hip hop story so I’m in…I wanna hear this tale.