Saturday, December 3rd, Noon-6PM
Rappcats, 5638 York Blvd, Los Angeles 90042
Rappcats x Ubiquity Records Pt. 2: Rap, Disco and Rare Grooves and Beats from the Dealer who Influenced the Hip Hop Sound of the 90s.
Rappcats is bringing back Ubiquity Records founder Michael McFadin and key records from the collection of “Boston” Bob Gibson for a one day pop up shop in Highland Park. The first installment, in August, focused on the breadth of Gibson’s collection, which is considered by collectors like DJ Shadow, the Groove Merchant’s Chris Veltri and Chairman Mao to be one of the best of its kind ever assembled. From one-off, uber-rare Northern Soul and Deep Funk 45s to rare groove classics to heavy psychedelic rock, the shop was but the tip of the iceberg of a collection that numbers in the tens of thousands.
This installment focuses on Gibson’s rap records – and the records he collected, and often sold, that influenced every important New York hip hop producer of the 1990s and, by extent, the rap world in general. Gibson, as his name reflects, lived in Boston which, in the pre-Internet 80s, might as well have been in a different country than New York City. But Gibson was a preternatural collector and, while Lenny Roberts’ Ulitmate Breaks and Beats was the biggest direct influence on the 80s hip hop soundscape, Gibson was using Roberts’ template as a springboard, and going deep. Deeper than any collector had ever gone.
He was a collector, first, and a dealer second. He made cassette compilations which he often played, and sometimes sold, at the In Your Ear record shop where he was employed. These compilations were full of the songs that would, when sampled, become the hip hop sound of the early 90s.
Gibson was one of the top three, if not the most sought after, record dealer sat the legendary New York Roosevelt Record Conventions, Chairman Mao remembers. This convention was populated by a who’s who in the New York hip hop production scene – Q–Tip, Large Professor, Diamond D, Buckwild and the DITC crew, The Beatnuts – and the key dealers shared records that had never been considered sample fodder. Wax Poetics published a story about the Roosevelt Record Conventions by the late John Carraro – Gibson’s greatest competitor – in 2004: New York’s golden era had hip-hop luminaries digging in the crates at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention.
Q-Tip remembers that Gibson was the first to discover and showcase the Archie Whitewater LP, later famously sampled by Common. Mao recalls that Gibson often mailed packages to his key customers – and that Large Professor’s remix of Nas’s “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” happened the same day that Gibson sent him the source sample, the Blue Jays’ Nascence LP.
These stories go on and on – and while Gibson was buying records to sell to hip hop’s elite, he himself was buying and filing rare funk by the Detroit Sex Machines, the psychedelic version of Del Jones’s militant album “The Court Is Closed” and Demon Fuzz’s second album “Roots and Offshoots,” all holy grail pieces of wax to this day. All the while he was buying hip hop records by the people he influenced, and stretching back to hip hop’s disco-rap era in search of the next inspiration.
This is your chance to buy the actual records from the man’s collection himself. “Was “Boston” Bob an influential dealer?” asked Q-Tip, when we asked him about the legendary stories surrounding him. He immediately answered, “Oh for sure. And he listened to all of the music we were all making too.”
Also on sale during the pop up will be Ubiquity and Luv N’ Haight titles, available at 50% off.
Photos by via John Carraro / Wax Poetics, from “New York’s golden era had hip-hop luminaries digging in the crates at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention”