Prince Be & Pete Rock digging through the Boston Bob collection at Roosevelt Hotel Record Convetion, NY, 1990s – Photo by John Carraro
Ubiquity is coming to Rappcats on Saturday March 23 (Noon-6PM) for a sale of the “Boston” Bob Gibson record collection and choice picks from Ubiquity/Groove Merchant Records founder Michael McFadin’s personal collection.
This is the third year in a row we’ve presented this sale. Each year Ubiquity has selected only a fraction of the collection – whatever we can fit in the building. Following the popup sale on March 23, we will have Boston Bob ‘Grab Bags’ available online.
About Bob Gibson:
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 Ulitmate Breaks and Beats was the biggest direct influencing on the 80s hip hop soundscape, Gibson was using the 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 soon become the hip hop sound of the early 90s.
Gibson was one of the top three, if not the most sought after, record dealer at 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. 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,” or Demon Fuzz’s second album “Roots and Offshoots,” all holy grail pieces of wax to this day. And he was buying hip hop records by the people he influenced, and stretching back to hip hop’s golden age 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.”