Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Drop a Gem on 'Em
2007-02-07 09:49
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

During the 1990s, the most influencial Hip Hop show in New York, and possibly the world, was The Stretch Armstrong Show, which featured Strech and Bobbito Garcia (originally, Kurious Jorge was the house MC). The show aired on Thursday nights from 1-5am, and I was one of many fans who waited up half the night with my finger on the pause button of my tapedeck waiting to record the latest gems. When the show folded, Bobbito went on to write a seminal book about New York City Sneaker Culture, and currently works for MSG, covering the Knicks. I hadn't heard about Stretch for a minute, but was recently hipped to his blog. There are some cherce downloads, including the legendary Busy Bee v. Kool Moe Dee battle from the early '80s. For those in the know, now you know...

2007-02-07 10:22:21
1.   Jim Dean
Great find, thanks!
2007-02-07 10:31:04
2.   Sliced Bread
I'd love to check out that sneaker book.

Dig this from The New Yorker review:
praising an Adidas high-top, a graffiti writer says, "If I was bombing the elevated trains I wanted ankle support and Top Tens were ridiculous for that."

Heh, that's beautiful.

Even out in the L.I. 'burbs in the late 70's we were rockin' Puma Clydes, Adidas All-Stars, (never went for the Ponys myself).

When I was in 7th grade, something like '78?, we made hook-rugs in shop class.
Mine was a blue Clyde on a red background.
The teacher wasn't feeling it, but gave me an A because a couple of other kids were raving about it.
Damn, wish I still had that rug.

Gotta pick up a pair of Clydes sometime for old time's sake.

2007-02-07 10:56:34
3.   Alex Belth
Oh, the sneaker book is a real treat. It's about NYC basketball-Hip-Hop-Sneaker culture from early 70s through mid 80s. Bob did a wonderful job. I can't recommend it highly enough if you are into that sort of thing.
2007-02-07 10:59:19
4.   Alex Belth
My favorite sneakers ever were the Nike Air Mowabbs from the early nineties, the brown and purple joints. You can see 'em on E bay every now and then, but I just can't fork over $200 bills for a pair of old kicks. If I had only known...I would have bought dozens of them back then...
2007-02-07 11:21:11
5.   Knuckles
I had a pair of Mowabb's in early high school. I was an xc/track runner, and they were definitely not running shoes, but rather kinda flimsy hiking/runner hybrids. I knew this but had to have them anyway, and convinced my folks they would be my winter running shoes one year (we did not have winter track). They were complete crap, but looked as cool as. And probably saw more snowball fights walking home from school than 400s on the track. Winters were cool like that because I could get away with getting kicks other than the regular running shoes I'd get 2-3 other timers per year.
2007-02-07 11:26:02
6.   Sliced Bread
Gotta look for the Mowabbs.

Got my favorite bball shoes through the J.V. team in the early 80's. Sick, stompin' black and red Nikes. Must've been early Air Force 1's. Felt a foot taller in em. Wore them for years.

The shoe I really wish I'd stocked up on back in the day was a running shoe, the Brooks Villanova, kind of a royal blue with orange stripes. Instant gazelle action in those.

I truly loved my navy Clydes because they were among the first things I saved for and purchased myself. Clydes, Beatles albums, wiffle ball and stickball stuff.

I was at Shea one time, rockin' a brand new pair of Clydes, and a big fat guy about three seats over stomped on a mustard packet - just because - and sullied my fine. I remember he was truly sorry about that, but probably because I looked like I was gonna cry. Heh!

Not really a kicks head myself, but it's fun thinking back to the old gear. Gonna look for that book.

2007-02-07 12:03:28
7.   OldYanksFan
From LoHud:
"The story also re-tells the story about how Rubenstein and team president Randy Levine lied to reporters about the Yankees obtaining Randy Johnson in 2005."

The New Yorker is not available on line without a subscription. But go pick one up to get a behind-the-scenes view of Steinbrenner's world.

If ANYONE has info on this, PLEASE SHARE.

2007-02-07 12:41:10
8.   Will
Hell, I know this is slightly off topic, but...

I don't have cable at home, but I was staying at a hotel and flipping through the channels and I swear I saw MC Serch doing some show. It must of been a commercial or just the end of the show cause I couldn't find it again.

It caused many flashbacks to my time in NYC from 1987-1992. Damn.

Plus I've ALWAYs been a chuck taylor guy.

2007-02-07 13:03:34
9.   Andre
MC Serch is indeed doing a show called White Rapper on VH1. I've not seen it myself, but I understand it's a competition where a bunch of white rappers compete (for what, I have no idea). Some local chucklehead from Mass. was recently booted from the show, which generated some press.
2007-02-07 13:04:35
10.   unpopster
8 that's MC Serch's new show on VH1 titled "The (White) Rapper Show". It's a reality show in which some white rappers compete for the crown of "Best White Rapper".

It's actually a really entertaining show because, a) Serch has legitimate street credit to do such a show, b) every episode's got cameos by old school rappers (Grandmaster Flash, Prince Paul, Sadat X of Brand Nubian, Bushwick Bill and Everlast of House of Pain), and most importantly c) Serch made this show into as much a celebration of the "culture" that hip-hop came from as a competition to find the best "rapper". In every episode, Serch teaches the competitors where hip hop came from -- in a way educating them about what it means to be a "rapper".

Wow, can you tell that I've been watching this show? It's really good -- plus, I love seeing Serch for simple nostalgic reasons.

2007-02-07 13:30:38
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
if your name was mohandas dewese, why on earth would you work with a stage name? (even if it WAS kool moe dee...)


2007-02-07 13:39:31
12.   Chyll Will
11 Kool Moe Dee was much easier to rhyme than Mohandas Dewese. On top of that, how do you fit that into the rhyme schematic of Treacherous 3's "Heartbeat" and sound still sound on-point: "Special K! Sunshine! Mo-Han-Das-De-Wese... on-time?"
2007-02-07 13:44:22
13.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 i would have difficulty rhyming mohandas dewese, but he's the professional. i'm sure he could have if he wanted to.

...and with all due respect, "moe dee" was a precursor to the "d-mat" / "a-rod" / "j-lo" phenomenon.

2007-02-07 14:09:31
14.   Chyll Will
10 Don't forget, Serch has been around for more than a minute, too; way before 3rd Bass hit the streets. His steelo's fa-real.

I remember when I first went away to school in 1990, I brought my extensive tape collection of hip-hop so I could continue making cut-up tapes and both Busy Bee and Kool Moe were in my collection. My next-door neighbor from Texas, who fancied himself as a nice MC who also went to high school with Scarface from Geto Boys, went through my collection and laughed out loud when he saw my Busy Bee tape. "I'm Busy Bee, I'm Busy Bee, DANCE SUCKA!!!" he'd yell up and down the hall. Whatevah, "Kid Prophet."

You know what I miss? Wiring my entire bedroom with shirt hangers and foil so I could pick up KISS-FM, BLS or KTU and tape the shows late at night, first with my table-top, then later with my Mom's boombox (and then my own for Christmas when she wanted it back.) Shout-out to Kool DJ Red Alert, Chuck Chillout, Mr. Magic, Afrika & the ZN and Marley Marl. And special shout to Carlos DeJesus (you gotta knowwhutumsayin!) for bringing it upstate when people were supposedly asleep (I was up!)

Aw. I could go on with a real history lesson, but I gotta go. Peace all, I'll check in later! Thanks Alex, you made my day!

2007-02-07 14:24:15
15.   Chyll Will
13 No it wasn't. Using or shortening the first name and initial the last was old school. D-Mat, J-Lo, A-Rod, K-Fed, all that crap is some backward "I'm trying to be down" 15 years after it was done retro-bullcrap. Never widdit. Even J-Lo had enough sense to drop that nonsense, but there's more to that than I care to get into now. Plus Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J sounded much cooler at the time than Mohandas Dewese and James Todd Smith when you're trying to be hardcore, which had a much different semantic back then (and a fact that LL exploited regularly in his street and on-air battles with Moe) >;)
2007-02-07 17:33:23
16.   vockins
7 It's an ancedote about how Levine and Rubenstein were out to eat together. Reporters were calling Levine every five minutes about the Johnson trade. Levine claimed it was rumor to the callers. Eventually, Rubenstein asks Levine to tell the reporter to call him. The reporter does immediately, and Rubenstein tells the guy he knows nothing about it, but that he should give him Levine's number so he can ask him what's going on. He pretends he's trying to find a pen, etc. Everyone has a laugh, except for the reporter, of course.

The ancedote is used to set up a debate about Rubenstein's honesty, which I found a little goofy. Questioning a PR guy's honesty is a bit like questioning a fox's ability to guard a henhouse.

It's a good article regardless. I recommend checking it out.

2007-02-07 19:44:40
17.   Bama Yankee
0 Sorry Alex, but if I don't say it someone else probably will:

"Who is Bobbito Garcia?"


2007-02-08 09:04:18
18.   Patrick
Thanks for the link. :)
2007-02-09 21:09:00
19.   mmcgough
pretty sure bobbito still spins at APT in the meatpacking district on monday nights

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