How Stretch & Bobbito Helped Launch The Careers Of Big Pun, Jay Z, Nas & More

It was radio that, indeed, changed lives. 

It was there, nestled in the most unlikely of places -- a corner in the halls of academia -- that one of the most important platforms in hip-hop was born.  Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia's 90s radio show, 89 Tec 9, became a steppingstone to mass appeal, a rite of passage to MC status.

Throughout the decade, Stretch and Bobbito would serve as cultural ambassadors, introducing local audiences and, soon, the world to unsigned artists and undiscovered talent like Biggie Smalls, DMX, Wu-Tang Clan, and Eminem. One year from Jay Z's first appearance on the show, he released his critically acclaimed debut album, Reasonable Doubt. Three years from Nasty Nas' inaugural appearance, Illmatic -- arguable the greatest hip-hop album of all time -- was released. Shortly after Ol' Dirty Bastard's freestyle was heard on 89 Tec 9, the late rapper was signed by A&R notable Dante Ross, before Wu-Tang Clan ever released an album. Even Big Pun's short-lived career takes root in that seedy box of rapdom. The Puerto Rican wordsmith went on to be the first Latino rapper to attain Platinum status as a solo act.

Some of our favorites @fatjoe #bigpun #stretchandbobbito #stretcharmstrong #bobbito #bobbitogarcia

A photo posted by Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito (@stretchandbobbito) on

Seminal mixtapes featuring b-side tracks with a history of their own made its way around the globe, giving voice to a historically marginalized people of black and brown America. But really, Stretch and Bobbito were just two kids from New York with an allegiance and love for the culture, providing a lyrical oasis for music nerds and an escape route for even the most incarcerated of men.

#stretchandbobbito cassettes. @iamgrief78 knows the time. GOT TAPES? Tag us!

A photo posted by Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito (@stretchandbobbito) on

To celebrate 25 years since the dynamic duo's inaugural year on the air, Stretch and Bobbito released Radio that Changed Lives. Most appropriately titled, the documentary provides equal parts joy, laughter and nostalgia while simultaneously granting access into the hip-hop days of yesteryear. In the end, the dynamic duo helped establish a blueprint for the kind of hip-hop that is still valid and used as a point of reference today. 

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El Chapo's Reportedly Deceived Suppliers To Buy Meth Ingredients

More tea is being spilled in the trial of pseudo-famous Mexican drug lord  Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera. On Monday (Dec. 17), it was revealed in court that El Chapo went to the sister of a Colombian drug trafficker to cop methamphetamine for his Sinaloa drug cartel.

According to the New York Daily News, Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa was one of the witnesses called to the stand during the 61-year-old's criminal preceding in the States. Chapo is being hit with a laundry list of charges including money laundering, conspiracy, firearms and international distribution of cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana.

Cifuentes confessed Chapo went behind his back and made a deal with his siblings who are also involved in their illegal activities to be a source for methamphetamine so that he can turn a profit in his business.

Cifuentes said that Chapo neglected the fact that meth is extremely addictive and can damage the physical and mental state of young people who consume it and purchased from his sister and brother, the drug's precursor ephedrine.

“Don Joaquín knows I (didn’t) like to f**k around with ephedrine,” Cifuentes said in the courtroom.

It wasn't until after a plane that carried Colombian-imported cocaine crashed on it's trip to Mexican that Cifuentes' siblings came clean and admitted they took a deal with Chapo as it the ephedrine was also in the cargo of the aircraft.

Cifuentes escaped to Venezuela in 2010 around the time these incidents were going down and changed his mind regarding meth out of desperation for money, saying that “Hunger made me change my mind."

Chapo faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

READ MORE: A Man Claiming To Be El Chapo's Nephew Threatens To Have Tekashi Mother Deported

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Angela Ponce makes history as the first trans woman to compete for Miss Universe.
Miss Universe

Miss Spain Angela Ponce Becomes First Trans Miss Universe Contestant

Angela Ponce didn’t walk away with the crown during last night’s Miss Universe pageant (Dec. 16), but she did end up being a winner in her own right. Ponce, who represented her country of Spain, is the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

“This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom,” the model wrote on Instagram Friday (Dec. 14). “And today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.” Catriona Gray, the 24-year-old Miss Philippines, walked away with the crown over models from South Africa and Venezuela, who came in second and third.

Ponce, 27, was crowned Miss Spain back in June, beating out 22 contestants for the win. At the time of that win, she told The Associated Press, “If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me.”

The pageant, formerly owned by Donald Trump, lifted its ban on transgender contestants in 2012. This is the same year that Jenna Talackova of Canada threatened legal action against the organization, who was rejected because she was not a “naturally born” female.

Congrats on making history, Miss Spain.


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Que honor y orgullo poder ser parte de la historia de @missuniverse. Esto es por ustedes, por aquellos que no tienen visibilidad, ni voz, porque todos merecemos un mundo de respeto, inclusión y libertad. Y hoy estoy aquí, representando con orgullo a mi nación, a todas las mujeres y a los derechos humanos. • #missuniverse #missuniverso #confidentlybeautiful #thailand #bangkok #roadtomissuniverse #67thmissuniverse #angelaponce #spain #preliminar

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on Dec 14, 2018 at 5:27am PST

READ MORE: Discrimination, Violence & Death: The Reality For Transgender Women Of Color In 2015

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18 Best Latinx Albums Of 2018

A number of artists from the scope of latinidad contributed to making 2018 another rich year in music. If hip-hop is the world's most consumed genre, latin pop, reggaeton, latin trap, flamenco and more of the subgenres of Latinx music rested in between.

This includes J Balvin being one of the most streamed artists on Spotify, Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy scoring stellar Grammy nominations, the rising appeal of Harlem rapper Melii, the return of Wisin Y Yandel and Bad Bunny sprinkling the gift that is Latin trap on your getting ready playlists.

But there were also artists who took big risks like Kali Uchis' coy yet forward voice in R&B, Jessie Reyez's dynamic voice and collaborations with the likes of Eminem and many more.

Check out our favorite albums from the best and brightest Latinx artists of the year below.

READ MORE: 25 Hip-Hop Albums By Bomb Womxn Of 2018

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