Please welcome Rich Medina, a D.J. , a poet, music producer and an amazing music collector.
Q: What was your first record album? How did you get it? At what age? Can you describe that feeling and do you still have it in your collection?
A: Believe it or not, the first record I bought with “my own money” was a copy of the KISS “Alive” Concert LP. I bought it at Crazy Eddie’s in Eatontown NJ, after making some chore money. It was 1980, and I was growing more and more into rock and roll, aside from
actively participating in the complete spectrum of hip-hop culture. KISS had THE ILLEST costumes to me at the time, next to PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC, like Rock & Roll Super Villains with the make up and all that! I remember vividly,
that record made me feel like I knew something that other kids didn’t know, probably because family members who had a taste for rock music didn’t surround me.
My parent’s parents migrated north from Alabama and the Kentucky/Ohio border near the turn of the century, via The Underground Railroad. With that, their need to keep and care for things they considered valuable stemmed from not truly having anything to call their own prior to migrating north. Being privy to many an adult discussion on the topic at a young age, it was natural for me to want to keep things I considered valuable, so that I could enjoy them for years to come. I really appreciate this gift from my family, because it taught me to care for my belongings and investments on a higher level now, as a man. I think I became a “collector” prior to leaving home for college. Basketball and academics had taken over my world at that point, but I was still busy DJing and buying records weekly. Having to step back from DJing and focus on passing classes and playing Division 1 hoops actually drew me much closer to my true passion, which I soon came to realize was chasing down music, and playing it for as many people as possible, as often as possible. College, basketball, and a real job were all interruptions to what I’ve come to believe I was born to do.
like a year. Then, I found myself purchasing one and strolling the streets with 3,00 songs in this little machine. I found the merit in technology then for sure. But beyond that, the sonic quality of the vinyl format is so warm and full when compared to all digital mediums it’s ridiculous. There is no reputable argument for that point. Storage space is not the baseline issue when discussing the collection of music. The music and your relationship with that music is the baseline issue. Records in abundance on any level, or in any format, will get in your way if you are not intimate with them. I just come from the school that says until you’ve experienced the sonic depth of vinyl on a regular basis, even if just at home alone, you are shortchanging yourself of the main attraction at the musical circus.
time that you will ALWAYS end up with some kind of damage to your sleeves, your bag, or even worse, your records, without protecting them in as many ways as possible. I got MAD valuable records with beat up sleeves and dings in the wax because it took me so long to get my head around being consistent in protecting my tools. As a collector, you can easily decrease the equity of your stash by having beat up wax. As a DJ, the record you disrespect in storage will soon embarrass you in front of a dance-floor.
relationship, and had our beautiful son Kamaal Nasir. My lady has been extremely supportive, and she has actually been an enabler to my habit. The only other person in the world who supports me more vigilantly is my mother. My Baby Maker 45s are dedicated to my lady, as evidenced by the lil yellow dude you met at my house. meow.
basements, shops, estate sales, and whatever else I have the time and bread for, just like any other record freak out there. So yeah, it doesn’t turn off even when you’re broke. It’s like any other addiction, the DJ’s addictions just so happen to make everyone feel good when shared at the right time, you know? There are tons of incredible shops, dealers, labels and retailers who have taken advantage of the ability to post stock online and sell more product than if they relied solely a shop for foot traffic. I’ve copped some of my favorite pieces online. I’ve also tripped over nuggets on accident just waltzing into a store I’d never seen. We record hounds all have dealers and such that will turn us on to things we need or don’t know. Some of us just won’t share those resources.
Q: Have you ever kept a particular record purchase secret from your partner?
way around the belt, another dude on the other side of the belt starts screaming at the top of his lungs “Are you fucking kidding meeee!!!!!???? You have GOT TO BE KIDDING MEEEEEEE!!!!!” my case came out in one piece in the next few minutes and my stuff was fine, but I stayed and helped him pick up the records that came out on the belt, and helped him deal with baggage recovery until he had all the answers he could get. I can’t remember the guy’s name, but I think he was a pretty big techno guy. It was really sad to see him in that situation.
LPs, Comps, plus 7” stash, 10”
I caught that one. and Import Hip Hop.
“Collecting records is like voluntarily becoming a historian or a chapter in a long book of musical histories.”