January Film Review: Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives

Released in October of 2015 the documentary, “Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives”, is a film dedicated to the Hip Hop radio show, The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show. The radio show ran from 1990-1998 on Columbia University’s college radio station and later on to Hot 97 until the show ultimately ended. This documentary was written, directed, and co-produced with Bobbito Garcia himself with DJ Stretch Armstrong as Music Supervisor respectively. Documentaries are always better when the parties depicted are involved. The importance of the Stretch and Bobbito show can’t be explained in this review but only through the film itself. The best part about this documentary in particular is that there seems to be so much footage from the actual show during the nineties! There’s nothing like analog video in a digital world. Seeing the old video gives the project a realness and it takes those who were into Hip Hop in the nineties back to that broadcast. This film is not only entertaining but educational as well. This film could very well be shown to college students majoring in mass media or communications.

With commentary from some of Hip Hop’s greatest emcees and to hear freestyles from some emcees who are no longer with us is heartwarming to my Hip Hop soul. Of course there’s unreleased material that we get to hear and to see the reactions of some emcees to their own freestyles back then is humbling. To learn that Busta Rhymes was nervous to freestyle on the radio program sounds shocking but he admits that rapping on Stretch and Bob was a big deal. Every emcee that ever rapped on their show ended up getting major label deals and going on to sell gold and platinum records. That was in a time when a major label provided a lot of things today’s Rappers aren’t privy to. From Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, and Big Pun, to Jay Z, Eminem, and the Fugees every emcee who was a real emcee was on this historical college radio show.

The work does not run long and will keep the viewers’ attention as the graphics and editing made the documentary very enjoyable. The movie can be purchased on the website StretchandBobbito.com but until your purchase arrives in the mail you can stream the film on Netflix. You all know that I am big on teaching your children their Hip Hop History and this something you could watch with your teenager with no problems and they will get excited when they see you getting excited about the moments in this film. I enjoyed watching this a great deal and I know you all will enjoy it as well whether you’re at home, in the classroom, the barbershop and the salon, or at the radio station this is a great film that the Hip Hop community is supporting and I suggest you do the same.



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