We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Andrew Nosnitsky, half of the Cocaine Blunts & Hip Hop Tapes DJ team, thinks “it’d be a pretty shitty show if we couldn’t play swear words.” So it’s no surprise when Nosnitsky and fellow George Washington University student Jordan Gaines decide to treat their listeners to Odd Squad’s fellatio anthem “Put Cha Lips.” “Can I say dick on the radio?” Nosnitsky asks. “I suppose I can.”
The pair doesn’t get a single protest call. In fact, as Nosnitsky notes, “We don’t ever get calls, dude.”
Cocaine Blunts can be heard only in GW’s Marvin Center, on campus-cable Channel 22, or online at GWRadio.com—and there are far better things to do on a Friday night between 8 and 10 than huddle in the student center, listen to radio on TV, or stay glued to a computer as two likable knuckleheads call each other “fool” and spin underground and old-school hiphop.
But while the radio program broadcasts into virtual nothingness, the show’s companion Web site and blog, CocaineBlunts.com, is starting to get some buzz: It’s received shine from Rolling Stone, Spin, and the New York Times, and it averages more than 500 unique hits a day. Nosnitsky does the dot-com alone because, Gaines admits, “I don’t like to write—or read.”
Nosnitsky’s MP3 postings and witty write-ups of ultrarare hiphop songs are the main draw. Recent tunes include a 1980 cut by Disco Dave & the Force of the Five MCs and new, unreleased battle tracks by the little-known rappers the Game and Yukmouth. Though he says a new computer is on the way, Nosnitsky currently manages the site using an iBook that’s missing its B, N, period, and +/- keys.
With him and Gaines, both 21, hoping to graduate soon, the radio show will likely die with their degrees. But CocaineBlunts.com will continue much as it does now. “I have difficulty writing about something if I’m not passionate about it, which is why the Web site is always going to be a hobby,” Nosnitsky says. “I would love to be able to write about really obscure hiphop all the time, but there’s no market for it.”
That passion for arcana is evident even in Cocaine Blunts and Hip Hop Tapes’ name, which doesn’t reference fetishes for blow-dusted weed and C-90s. It comes, rather, from the track “Smoke Dope and Rap” by San Francisco MC Andre Nickatina. The Bay Area gets repped a lot on the show and site due to the influence of California native Gaines, but Nosnitsky is an East Coaster, hailing from Pennington, N.J. “It’s near Princeton—or, if you want to help me with my street cred, say Trenton,” he kids.
Despite his vast knowledge of hiphop history, being a white kid from the ’burbs who loves “the sexist stuff—the gangsta stuff” and drinks Mickey’s 40s might get Nosnitsky called a poseur by some. Yet the unassuming DJ says his background has only been called into question once—by a white former GW student, no less—when he busted on critical darling Talib Kweli.
“She wrote this diatribe about me on her blog,” he recalls. “She said, ‘I saw his picture—he’s just a stupid white boy.’ It was mad funny. She was calling me out on my street cred, which in real-world terms isn’t that great. But as far as hiphop goes, it’s pretty damn good. I may be a white boy, but I’m a well-versed white boy.”—Christopher Porter