Influential hip-hop pioneers DJ Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia AKA Kool Bob Luv appeared on the NPR’s Code Switch podcast this week, and it instantly became my favorite thing this week. Stretch and Bob talked about their origins in hip-hop, the changes in the culture, and their brand new NPR podcast, “What’s Good? with Stretch and Bobbito” The episode is hosted by Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol, who both show flashes of their hip-hop knowledge during the episode, which is great because while it wasn’t a true family reunion, there was a level of comfort that allowed for the conversation to flow well.
NPR’s Code Switch is a phenomenal podcast. It talks about the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity, and culture, and how things are shifting so quickly. It’s smart, educational, and extremely well produced. And the journalists on the show Gene and Shereen, and several others, bring integrity to conversations about race that is truly needed in 2017.
In my opinion, Stretch and Bobbito are even more fascinating today than they were in the 90’s. In the 90s, they were just living. They were at the forefront of culture but their focus was much more narrow. Fast-forward to today, Stretch and Bob are so diverse, they’re well-traveled – Bobbito said he’s been to over 40 countries – they’ve expanded their authority so much that their new podcast is on NPR (just think about that) and it doesn’t even play music, it’s a deep-dive interview show. They’re legendary DJs – the world over – and if you hear a set from either of them today, you may get world music, you may get house music, you’ll probably hear some Afro-Latino music, they are not in any box. I listen to “What’s Good” not just because of the guest, which has already included Dave Chapelle and Mahershala Ali, but because of their voices and opinions.
This is a great listen. I could hear Bobbito and Stretch talk about culture all day. I would have loved for this episode to have been longer and dive even deeper into their opinions on race and culture. But I know that you can’t give everything away.
My favorite thing this week: Stretch and Bobbito on NPR’s Code Switch. #WESEEIT