In the beginning, Adrian “Stretch” Bartos and Robert “Bobbito” Garcia were merely a couple of young hip-hop heads from Upper Manhattan. But when they scored a radio show gig on Columbia University’s WKCR in 1990, the two friends quickly flourished into master tastemakers amid the incredibly fertile NYC scene.
For eight years, the finest local talent strode into their studio—unsigned artists and then-unknowns—among them Nas, Busta Rhymes, The Fugees, Big Punisher, Jay Z, and Eminem—and made their names over the airwaves. As Bobbito told the New York Times in 2015: “There was constantly that question mark about whether a dude was going to blow up. And that’s what made the show special.”
Here are five groundbreaking appearances from artists who didn’t so much blow up as atomically detonate.
Notorious BIG (1991)
Ghostface Killah & Method Man (1994)
Mobb Deep (1994)
Big L & Jay-Z (1995)
Hungry for more from this dynamic duo? You’re in luck: after a seemingly endless hiatus, Stretch & Bobbito are returning in podcast form on NPR. If you’re in the Washington DC area, the dynamic duo are throwing a party on July 20th at Blind Whino. Head over to our Instagram page to find out how to win a pair of tickets!