The Sony Sports Walkman used in the documentary Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives
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Sony Walkman (ca. 1993) used by Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, Fat Joe, DJ Premier, Busta Rymes, and Common in the documentary Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives.
Sony Sports Walkman, Model WM-SX34, No. 286199, 4¾ by 4¼ by 1⅝ in. (12 x 10.8 x 4.1 cm.), features auto reverse and settings for both the AVLS (Automatic Volume Limiter System) and the MEGA BASS system, audio playback currently not functional.
THE WALKMAN USED IN THE DOCUMENTARY STRETCH AND BOBBITO: RADIO THAT CHANGED LIVES
The Sony Sports Walkman offered here belonged to Bobbito García who directed/produced the documentary, Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives. In the film Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, Fat Joe, DJ Premier, Busta Rymes, and Common are all featured listening to and commenting upon vintage tape recordings emanating from the portable cassette player. The Walkman can even be seen in documentary's official trailer (see video below).
According to Bobbito, "I wanted to give them a tactile experience, so I handed them the Walkman just as they would have listened to our radio show back in the '90s. Put the headphones in, press play...that very Walkman is Hip Hop history."
Few people have an indelible footprint on multiple urban movements as DJ, producer, filmmaker, radio/TV/podcast host, author, ballplayer, announcer, sneaker designer, and entrepreneur Bobbito García. During the 1990s, the legendary on-air personality was half of the Stretch and Bobbito program on WKCR. The duo introduced the world to an unsigned Nas, Biggie, and Wu-Tang, as well as an unknown Jay-Z, Eminem, and The Fugees. In 1998, the Source Magazine voted the duo “The Best Hip Hop Radio Show of All Time."
Adjacent to music García was also a progenitor of sneaker journalism, starting with The Source's 1990 publication of his landmark article, “Confessions of a Sneaker Addict”. In 2003 Bobbito worked with Testify Books to put out Where’d You Get Those? NYC’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987. In 2005, García's It’s The Shoes series on ESPN became the first show on the subject in the history of broadcast television.
García formerly played professional basketball in Puerto Rico before going on to direct Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC, and performing in the groundbreaking Nike Freestyle commercial in 2001. Six years later, Nike would release seven co-designed Air Force 1 sneakers bearing Bobbito García's name. He is also the announcer's voice heard in EA Sports’ video game, NBA Street.
The Sony Sports Walkman was a quintessential piece of the culture of the late '80s and early '90s, a time when sports and pop entertainment began to be inextricably linked. Much like the man who owned it, the Walkman offered here represents an iconic tenet of hip hop's ascension and crossover to mainstream America.
From the personal collection of Bobbito Garcia aka Kool Bob Love
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