Tag Archives: Rap Radio

World’s Best Looking Sound – WBLS TV ad


Rap radio is an odd beast, there is a huge community of people like myself that fiend for those dusty tapes of hissy broadcasts from the days of way-back. Along with the park jams and community centre parties with now well known names like Herc and Flash, and the uncelebrated and often overlooked talents of early Rappers like Grandmaster Caz and Johnny Wah, the early days of Hip-Hop are some of the purist to those that lived through them, so those old tapes arent simply a throwback to better times for the elders, they are capsules of the golden era, the silver era, and all eras in-between. An historic cache for future generations to enjoy too.

The radio shows that initiated Hip-Hop listeners on a path to pure righteousness are paved with gold school nuggets that only they can ponder with their peers, without sounding like some old fool archeologists. Thankfully, younger generations are catching up too, but the aural capital of those dusty old ferric, chrome and even metal cassettes can generate the oddest reactions in those that understand little of the culture.

The history of Hip-Hop wouldnt be the same without New York radio station WBLS [the BLS an abbreviation of Black Listening Station or Best Looking Sound]. The frequency of 107.5 MHz was a regular for NY listeners that listened in for what is now considered the ‘urban contemporary sound’, fine tuning to hear that panning station ident voiced by station director the legendary Frankie Crocker. Whether people wanted music from club DJs Timmy Regisford and David Morales on the famous Saturday Night Dance Party, or later with Reggae visionary Bobby Konders, people tuned in in their thousands.

I first knew of WBLS when I was 16, answering pen-pal ads in Blues and Soul to feed my Hip-Hop habit. I’d been educated in the ways of Kool DJ Fred Alert and the WRKS shows and then I rediscovered an archive of classic Rap radio presented by legends in the game; Mr Magic, Chuck Chillout, Marley Marl & Pete Rock [not forgetting Chilly Q and Kevy Kev], Silver D and of course, Superman DJ Clark Kent.

Outside of the 5 boroughs, who knew they were advertising on TV back in 78?

Stretch & Bobbito footage from November 29, 1990 [Post #1000]

Co-Founder of Zoo York Eli Morgan Gessner, has started upping some interesting clips on a YT channel.

The 1st one features a very early piece of footage from the WKCR days of the Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show feat the god Bonz Malone in the studio along with the late NYC skate-great Beasley in front of the mic stand.

The 2nd, from 1987 includes Bones Brigade clothing and the soundtrack from a ghetto-blaster playing a tape of Mr Magic dropping Juice Crew All-Stars/ World premiere of Nobody Beats the Biz [around the 5 minute mark]…

Shouts to Eli for his vision in capturing these candid and intimate moments…

Roc Raida & X-Men on WNYU

Howard Stern sons Tom Hanks’ Son, Chester…

We like a good wigger, a dignified wigger, an upstanding and intelligent wigger, we also enjoy a good warranted wigger-bashing…

Westwood – Capital Rap Show Saturday 19 January 1991

‘Live from the science lab, were schooling ruling and a cooling’ allegedly…

Here’s a Westwood show from 20 years ago this weekend…

Timmy had obviously just received his copy of Breaking Atoms as he drops a heap of ‘specials’ including a world premiere of Snake Eyes and Think. It’s the Saturday night show, so there are a few popcorn cuts as well as tracks from Stets Blood, Sweat & No Tears, the KRS produced H.E.A.L. project and of course the Break to the Beat comp. There’s a segment of a Guy interview from another night at the end of Side B too, cant remember if thats from the night before or not. Any info appreciated. If anyone is holdin the Main Source interview from the night before, hit us up. Dont forget to call in for those Cool J tickets.

Big shouts to anyone that ever attended The Slammer in Gravesend [pause]

Westwood – Capital Rap Show Saturday 19 January 1991 Side A

Westwood – Capital Rap Show Saturday 19 January 1991 Side B

The Cassette Era AKA In the PJs, my blend tape plays

Mr Jones looks back at the science of recording radio shows onto a format long forgotten about, from the days when he was a ‘young city bandit’. He talks about the importance of twiddling up and down the dial during the days when more than one show was on the New York FM airwaves, the colour of the physical tape and even the fragrance of a fresh cassette. Top choice clip for the throwback crowd and anyone that put their batteries in the freezer to recharge em

To listen to a multi-million selling artist talk about those live tapes and park jams with such affection and admit theyre still hurtin from missing those tapes is something anyone who did the same back then can equate to. I wonder if Nasir repeatedly used the same C90 before he got his double tape player. Anyone that has any Fresh Fest recordings needs to get in touch too btw

It can be a painful experience to recount those lost tapes sometimes. Thankfully, some of us held on to em and folk like ourselves and Dutch are resurrecting those broadcasts and live sessions. I hear the Fat Lace chaps are bringin some Westwood back real soon too, ‘HOLD TIGHT, WATCH THE RIDE’.

This also erm, amps us. Shouts to Dom for the heads-up, and to Jappy Jap for havin one of the most ridiculous names ever.

DJ Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito 20th Anniversary Show Video – WKCR 89.9 – More footage..

Where would 90s dance music have been without hip hop?

Back when I used to earn a crust bending, punching, folding, welding and cutting sheets of metal, the only form of entertainment available, apart from tea breaks, shit breaks and calling each other queeeeeerr, was to have the radio on in the background. As we didn’t get London local radio on the South Coast we had to make do with radio one.

All day every day, the same 15 songs over and over again for months at a time. Aside from the occasional indie classic from Mark Radcliffe or Jo Whiley or an hour of Nostalgia from Simon Salad Cream (Mayo)’s Golden Hour, it was repetitive, dance music that dominated the airwaves.

Often the formula for these tracks included a chopped vocal sample from a rap record. It used to really grip my shit that the type of Sharon’s and Gary Lager’s that liked this music really hated hip hop. Don’t get it twisted, I don’t hate this music or these producers, if anything they are to be lauded for their digging. But anyway, you probably already know all these tracks, I just felt like giving them a collective salute cus like my man Masta Ace said, “Pay homage respect, acknowlege the rep”.

Schoolly D from Chemical Brothers:

Rockmaster Scott and Dynamic 3 from Chemical Brothers

Ultramagnetic MC’s from Prodigy

More Ultramagnetic used by the Prodigy, in fact there’s a whole lot of Kool Keith and Prodigy pairings.

ADOR sampled by Wildchild

Vinyl Dogs (Lord Finesse) from Fatboy Slim


There’s a million more such references all over the interweb, so many Ultramagnetic and Hijack samples that I can’t even be fucked to look for them.