What's In A Name (or Three)?: I'm On The Radio!
When I got on the radio, I didn't have a funky fresh dj name. I was just Adrian, or Adrian B. Zzzzzzz. Boooring. At the inception of the show, I was hanging out a lot with Claw and the graffiti legend SHARP whom I had met when I was in 6th grade through my older sister. SHARP had been calling me Skinny Bonz (among other more deprecating things). So I rolled with that, especially because SHARP was hip-hop royalty, having been one of the three artists to execute the Wild Style mural which became instantaneously iconic. Of course, after a few weeks, I realized that "Skinny Bonz" was not the move, especially since I was foolish enough to think that within time, I would develop a more muscular build. My main man Eli, founder of Zoo York, had been calling me Stretch, and in the dj-as-superhero/comic book character tradition, I added the "Armstrong". This particular show, which for some reason does not appear on the radio date log that Bobbito kept, is one of our earliest for sure (late 1990 most likely) because of the name confusion. Through the show, I'm refered to as DJ Adrian, Skinny Bonz and Stretch Armstrong. You'd think we would have worked that out before we got on the air, but at the time, we didn't believe that many people would be listening so it was not a big deal.
It's funny to hear how inexperienced we were. This is probably the most formal you'll ever hear Bobbito. He reads off the titles and labels of the records, and we even do a give-away of an album- on cassette no less. You'll hear radio drops from Erick Sermon, DMC, the comedian Doug E Doug, Jarobi and Busta as well as the aforementioned SHARP. These drops were all scrapped because they were pre-Stretch, and very early on I realized that without a producer, doing drops was going to be impossible, which worked out because not having them ended up differentiating what we did from others. We were still emulating radio as we knew it, rather than reinventing what it, which is what happened in time.
Funkmaster Flex, who had been djing on Kiss-FM, was our guest. Hot 97 hadn't gone hip-hop yet, and he was up at the show working his record "Fallen (And I Can' Get Up)" that he had put out with 9MM who had been a part of the Chuck Chillout's Deuces Wild crew. At the time, I wasn't doing much talking on the radio, and to my chagrin, listeners were understandably calling it The Bobbito Show. It was Flex that pulled me aside and told me that as the dj, I gotta talk more, otherwise I won't get credit for all the hard work I put and would be putting into the show. So I started talking (I sound mad awkward here...it's painful to listen to) and soon, I was a big blabbermouth. Yada yada yada.
Shout out to Claw, who was up at this show answering phones; to Flex for the words of wisdom; to Doug E Doug for the comedy; to Curious Jorge who was still a co-host; and to Sheets and Pillows. Some of you know about that.
Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito, WKCR, late '90 with Funkmaster Flex, part 1
Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito, WKCR, late '90 with Funkmaster Flex, part 2