Game-changing hip-hop DJs Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito García are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to finish a new documentary, Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives. The film covers their remarkable radio career, during which they introduced the world to future greats like Jay Z, Notorious B.I.G, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, Nas and more.
Stretch and Bobbito first hit the airwaves 25 years ago on Columbia University’s WKCR, where they extolled artists like Nas and Biggie well before they released their seminal debuts. “Basically all the artists that premiered on our radio show as unsigned or unknown artists eventually went on to sell 300 million records,” García boasts in a new clip promoting the Kickstarter campaign.
Eminem, Nas, Jay Z and Cypress Hill’s B-Real all tout Stretch and Bobbito’s influence in the clip. “At that point in time, your show was the most important show in the world,” Nas says, adding: “You guys opened the door in New York for us, the next generation, to come through.”
Along with all the aforementioned MCs, Radio That Changed Lives will feature a combination of new interviews and archival appearances from Big Pun, Raekwon, Busta Rhymes, Lauryn Hill, Big L, Pete Rock, El-P, Q-Tip, the Roots, KRS-One, Common, Das EFX, Talib Kweli, Kool Keith, DJ Premier, Fat Joe, Redman, Pharoahe Monch, Rosie Perez, Sway and more.
As Stretch and Bobbito explain in the clip, Radio That Changed Lives has essentially finished production, but the pair are hoping to raise funds to secure the film’s independent release. Among their expenses are licensing, attorney and editor fees, an independent publicist, marketing, DVD mastering and manufacturing and a release of the soundtrack on vinyl. With 18 days left, the film is about halfway to its $50,000 goal.
The DJs are also offering numerous prizes for Kickstarter donors, including access to deleted scenes (starting at $10), a download of the film two weeks prior to its official release ($25), and hats, T-shirts and a ball of yarn from the original WKCR studio (all $50). Big-money backers will also have the chance to score autographed merchandise and artwork, as well as private screenings, including one followed by a four-hour Stretch and Bobbito DJ set for $10,000.
Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives is scheduled for release in October. The pair co-produced the movie with Omar Costa, with Armstrong serving as music supervisor and Bobbito directing under the nom de plume Kool Bob Love.