This was a list made for the Free-Times. Everything is in alphabetical order. Enjoy and dispute.
the first tape i’ve ever owned was “step in the arena” by gangstarr. i was about 6 years old and my pops let me get it solely because it didn’t have a sticker on it (unlike that terminator-x tape “valley of the jeep beats” that had a huge parental advisory sticker on the front).
in the tradition of what is probably now coined as ‘conscious hip-hop’ gangstarr possessed lyrics that talked about black empowerment, knowledge, understanding and backdrops of dusty-samples chopped to perfection by dj premier. it appeared that the combination couldn’t get any better. simplicity: one dj. one mc. no bullshit.
I often find it hilarious when I bump into relatives or old classmates that hear about my musical ventures. The exchange usually ends up with them commenting that I’m rich as hell or that I probably have a condo next door to Russell Simmonssharing vegan recipes. I usually offer one of those forced uncomfortable smiles and say to myself, “If only you can see my bank account.”
my record store went out of business in february 2009. i was sort hurt but not surprised. the record store is a dying breed (read my editorial ‘death of the american record store’) so it was inevitable. regardless, i was hit with fear and uncertainty. so, why would a newly unemployed record store guy decide to travel across the world two months later is beyond me. but, i’m glad i did it.