DJ Stretch Armstrong presents “WBLS Rap Attack • 12.18.87” – a classic taste of Mr. Magic and Marley Marl in the second installment of the Cassette Culture series from Cuepoint Music. Stretch breaks down the entire episode of the seminal hip-hop radio show from the opening ads and in-studio antics to the closing tracks in a column for Medium. The play by play commentary he provides exemplifies his love, not only for the show, but the culture and the task of preserving its most pivotal and important moments.
When Magic’s show aired, Marley turned that time into a constant, kinetic barrage of multiple music sources and surprises. Unlike most hip-hop DJs, Marley was an impeccable blender of beats, playing records simultaneously for minutes at a time, often with scratching on top supplied from a third turntable. To be clear though, Marley didn’t just blend. He cut the hell out of records, on air and on many of the classics he produced. It wasn’t uncommon for Marley to add sound effects and snippets from movies and television, like Woody Woodpecker or Star Trek, to make a point or add a dose of humor. Overall, a Marley tape was a canvas filled with world premiers of future hits, skilled megamixes of new rap and some R&B, exclusive remixes and live in-studio sessions with guest artists, all assembled and executed with a master’s touch.
Check the track below to listen to the full “WBLS Rap Attack • 12.18.87” episode of Cassette Culture. Stay tuned for more.