What was it like making a film about your own lives like, going back and interviewing all these guys 20 years later?
Stretch: Doing these interviews with the artists was incredible. To put the headphones on these guys and take them back to a very special moment when they weren’t rich, weren’t famous, when they didn’t know what would happen to them. To get on our show when they did, it was such a big deal for them—and a big deal for us. Making the film we realised there was a mutual respect, a mutual awe. Even though the artists weren’t famous, Bob and I really revered them, as lyricists and performers. But what we learned making the film is that artists would come up to the show, and they would be nervous, and intimidated, in the same way we were about them! When someone like Nas came to the studio, I was like “We gotta be on our tippie toes and come correct!”—but they were thinking the same thing! I wasn’t aware of that until making the film.
We were just as happy to support those that wanted to come to the show and express themselves.
So has making the film, and talking to Nas, or Busta Rhymes or Jay-Z or Raekwon or whoever for it, really made you revaluate those years?
S: For sure. Nas said to us “I wrote my first album listening to your show.” He said he would actually record instrumentals we were using as mic breaks and use them to write rhymes that would eventually become Illmatic. That just blew us away.
Which artist are you most proud of breaking?
Bobbito: All of them really. I’m just as proud as breaking the likes of Big L, and O.C., and Cage, who didn’t end up becoming these across the board stars. We were just as happy to support those that wanted to come to the show and express themselves.