Time Travel Back To 1987 With This Rare Taped DJ Red Alert Radio Show (Mix)

The site Medium is cookin’ up some great content. Less than a week after their breakdown at 2Pac’s breaking records (literally) at the short-lived Suge Knight-owned Club 662, Medium liberates some ephemeral greatness from 10 years prior.

One of the true juggernauts of Hip-Hop radio, DJ Stretch Armstrong (of Stretch & Bobbito fame) shares a June 13, 1987 cassette tape dubbing of Kool DJ Red Alert’s KISS FM broadcast. This mix contains an extremely-rare version of Slick Rick’s “The Ruler’s Back,” well before MC Ricky D’s Def Jam/Columbia Records debut. Also within is a DJ D-Nice (Boogie Down Productions) “The TR-808 Is Coming” radio spot, as well as looks from King Sun, LL Cool J, Fat Boys, and more.

Part of what makes Red Alert’s mixes of the day so charming is between the exclusives, the skillful and competitive record manipulation and sound-selection, Kool Red Alert always seemed to be having a party in the studio. The ad-libs (notably, Red Alert doesn’t speak on this mix), the calls, the joy… this is something that even in the days of B-boy (and B-girl) stances, gold teeth scowls, and “Paid In Full” non-smilin’, Rap was still about love and fun.


Read DJ Stretch Armstrong’s words on radio, and breakdown of this tape at Medium.

What could today’s Hip-Hop stand to learn from this 65 minutes?

Related: Can You Feel It: Why 1984 Is Hip-Hop’s Watershed Moment (Food For Thought)