By Alvin Blanco
Hip-Hop radio at Columbia University's WKCR is on its deathbed and tonight (October 21) the legendary crew of Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Garcia, as well as DJ Sucio Smash, will broadcast their finale.
The long running "Squeeze Radio" show, helmed by DJ Sucio Smash, has been canceled, though efforts, including an online petition, are being made to save the show.
Sucio Smash inherited the "Squeeze Radio" show's time slot—1am to 5am on Fridays—from the ballyhooed "Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show." Like its predecessor, "Squeeze Radio" (WKCR is 89.9 on NY's FM radio dial) provided a place for listeners to hear the latest hip-hop music while offering an alternative to the strict, and repetitive, playlists of mainstream rap radio.
"What DJ Sucio Smash and Squeeze Radio provides is an alternative for hip-hop fans who have grown tired of the politics behind commercial radio," says Rob Markman, Deputy Editor of XXL Magazine. "Since 2001 "Squeeze Radio" has cut through industry politics and given fans hip-hop in its purest form. It’s a shame that rap fans are going to lose this outlet."
As of now the last "Squeeze Radio" show will be tonight's broadcast. Sucio Smash, who also owns his own High Water Music label, was only informed by Columbia University on October 7 that he had to make way for a student run show. Tonight's broadcast will be doubly special, and bittersweet, because Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia will be reuniting for one last time to celebrate the show's 20th Anniversary.
"Bobbito and I are really looking forward to Thursday night," said Stretch Armstrong via a statement. "That show was such an amazing ride, and it's going to be pure fun to relive some of those moments. We hope the listeners will have as much fun as we will!"
Since their days at the helm, and into Sucio Smash's term, which for a period also included co-host Timmhotep Aku (aka Timm See), the show has been a launching pad for the careers of seminal hip-hop artists including Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and the Souls of Mischief.
" 'Squeeze' is one of hip-hop's purest platforms, born from a genuine dedication to music, whose torch has been carried by incredibly-respected music authorities," says Sky Gellatly, DJ and Director of Strategy at Team Epiphany. "If you consider yourself a credible fan of hip-hop, having several "Stretch and Bobbito" show recordings in your music library—or at the very, very least, the Big L and Jay-Z, and Eminem freestyles on deck—is a flat-out imperative. From Stretch and Bobbito, to my peers Timmhotep Aku and Sucio Smash … the show has been the very place where real hip-hop journalism—all of its humor and insight—has converged with the ingenuity of freestyle battling and sharp turntablism; it will always be regarded as a beacon for hip-hop's pure artistry in the modern era alongside Sway and King Tech's 'Wake Up Show.' "
But now the highly regarded and respected show's run may come to an end point on this very night.
Though the memories are ever-lasting, documented via recordings that can be readily found online, it's nevertheless a shame vehicles like "Squeeze Radio" that literally are Hip-Hop history are so easily cut short.
What do you think of Columbia discontinuing "Squeeze Radio"? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!