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Adrian Bartos ‘83
Adrian Bartos, otherwise known as"Stretch Armstrong," is an internationally recognized DJ, cultural pioneer, and the co-host of NPR's podcast What's Good with Stretch and Bobbito. In the show, Stretch and Bobbito interview cultural influencers, bringing their warmth, humor, and a fresh perspective. In the 1990s, radio duo Stretch and Bobbito were pivotal figures in the evolution of hip-hop as a worldwide cultural phenomenon. The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show was an underground hip hopradio show broadcast in New York, originally on 89.9 WKCR-FM, from a basement station at Columbia University, and later on 97.1 WQHT-FM. The show functioned as an alternative to commercial hip hop radio by airing unsigned artists, rarities and B-sides from commercial artists, and live freestyles and DJ scratch sessions. The show has been credited with introducing the world to Biggie Smalls, Eminem, Jay Z, Big L, Big Pun, Fat Joe, Wu Tang Clan, Fugees and many other names which would rise to prominence in the mid to late 1990s.
As a club DJ, Stretch was the progenitor of "open-format" (mastering a multitude of musical genres) and has spun all over the world for over two decades. He is considered to be part of an elite group of master DJs, capable of playing to intimate crowds as well as large rooms, with an expertise in a wide variety of genres spanning several decades, from classic to contemporary.
Over the past decade, Stretch has taken his expertise into music supervision as a consultant for brands seeking to further their musical identity. Most recently, he was the music consultant for HBO's Vinyl. His musical career, along with Garcia, was made into a movie Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, which was picked up by Netflix in 2015 on the 25th anniversary of the pair's radio show. The Source Magazine called their show "The Best Hip Hop Radio Show of All Time" in 1998.