Black Historical past Month can be, unofficially, Black Record Store Day Month. The Record Store Day group has made it a mission all through February 2021 to place the highlight every day on a unique Black-owned music store in the U.S., a trigger that has concerned bringing in Common to assist shine the highlight on impartial retailers that deserve the patronization each month of the yr.
“I owe a lot to file shops and particularly Black-owned file shops,” Common tells Selection. “I’m very grateful to be part of Record Store Day supporting Black-owned file shops due to what they’ve meant to me and what they’ve meant to Black tradition and getting Black music out to the world. So I feel it’s solely proper. It’s like, to whom a lot is given, a lot is required. For me, that is my obligation.”
The checklist has been given its personal web page on the RSD web site that might be a priceless useful resource for vinyl fanatics who wish to search out shops which might be mainstays of the Black communities in their respective cities, in addition to people who could serve such a various clientele that they might not even be often known as Black-owned with out being proudly identified as such.
Though there are 28 days in the month, the checklist really provides as much as 3o shops, because of Feb. 5 — the day that Common’s new album got here out on vinyl — being devoted on the web site to a few “hometown picks” from the town the place the Oscar- and Grammy-winning hip-hop titan grew up. The vary of retailers included in obvious simply from Common’s trio of picks alone: It features a retailer that opened in Chicago as way back as 1968, Out of the Previous Information, and one other that got here into being as just lately as 2018, South Rhodes Information.
“It’s so lovely to know that there’s file shops that existed in the ‘60s which might be nonetheless alive and individuals are taking that enterprise to these file shops and supporting vinyl,” he says. “And it’s so unimaginable to consider a file retailer opening in 2018, as a result of which means youthful generations are collaborating. It’s nice to have the ability to carry the custom of what file shops have been traditionally, to my era and other people older than I’m, and see youthful youngsters engaged. As a result of I do imagine that placing a needle on a file is a unique feeling and expertise of music than another feeling I’ve had. And that was the primary method I heard music.”
Common additionally participated in an hour-long Zoom name with file retailer house owners across the nation earlier this month to speak about his love of vinyl, and about his newest album, “A Stunning Revolution Pt. 1,” which was launched in different codecs again in October however got here out as an indie-exclusive purple/white/blue split-color vinyl LP this month. (He’s pictured above holding up his hefty turntable in the course of the retailer Zoom session.)
The native retailers that Common personally grew up on in Chicago are sadly gone, however he’s in a position to immediately recall their names and places and the LPs he purchased there.
“I’m 48, quickly to be 49,” he says, “so I noticed eight-tracks however I by no means had one myself. I grew up going to a file retailer known as Metro Music on 87th road, which is on the south aspect of Chicago, and ultimately I’d go to Coop’s Information, after which George’s Music Room. The shops I used to frequent have been largely in Chicago, Detroit, locations I went to with a whole lot of crate diggers.”
As a toddler, he says, “one file I owned was Stevie Surprise’s ‘Hotter Than July,’ which actually helped form me. Despite the fact that I do know that’s in all probability not most individuals’s favourite album of Stevie’s, for some purpose, as a child, I performed that again and again — particularly the track ‘Joyful Birthday.’ It made me really feel good. Now, little did I do know that that track was serving to to create Dr. King’s birthday to be a nationwide vacation. It formed me as a result of that was my first time actually being conscious — despite the fact that I wasn’t completely conscious — that that was revolutionary music in itself, music that had social consciousness to it.
“After which I’d simply go purchase any hip-hop. New information would come out on Tuesdays again then, so I’d go purchase any file that may come out. Ultimately it turned cassettes, let me be sincere. However my first hip-hop file that my father purchased me was Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Pressure, ‘Planet Rock’…. No, no, my first was Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, ‘The Message.’”
Common’s personal early releases in the Nineties got here out on vinyl, albeit in restricted portions, because the format by then was in a lull of being practically forgotten earlier than its 2000s comeback because the medium of selection for severe music heads.
“I really feel like one of the crucial priceless presents you may give to any individual is a file,” he says. “And for me to have a brand new album be out on file and to be part of Record Store Day and be part of the mission to proceed the story of individuals having fun with music via vinyl, man, it’s priceless for me. It touches my coronary heart. To carry your personal file is a present. And for me to see my album in 2021 on wax is like, whoa… it simply makes me grateful seeing that.
“And I’m so completely satisfied that I acquired to do a chat with a few of the file retailer house owners and reply questions but in addition hear. I’ve a lot reverence for individuals who personal and work in these shops as a result of lots of people do it for the love. Clearly it’s a enterprise and so they’ve acquired to maintain their enterprise flowing, however to remain in tune with what wax is and keep in tune with what information are, you’ve acquired to have a love for music and for what a file is.”
The organizers for the semi-annual Record Store Day occasions have made a concentrated effort in latest years to encourage labels to situation extra hip-hop albums on vinyl, to ensure it’s not simply the stereotypical older-middle-aged rock-loving file nerds lining up each April and November (or, in the case of this yr’s pandemic-delayed main RSD occasion, June 19). Common thinks there’s room for progress there however says this checklist of shops point out an consciousness and urge for food that already exists for Black music in LP kind.
“I can’t communicate for the entire Black neighborhood, however I can communicate for Black those that I do know, and I do imagine they’ve an appreciation for vinyl,” he says. “And when it’s re-introduced to them, it’s a reminder of how a lot they liked it. For a few of the Black neighborhood, as we turn out to be launched to it or are re-introduced to it, it is going to re-engage us. And that’s why a part of the file retailer story has to have Black music concerned. And that doesn’t imply that you just’re solely going to get Black individuals shopping for Black music! However after all, if it’s an artist that I like that’s a Black musician and so they’ve acquired music out— if, say, a Robert Glasper has some music out on wax, I’m gonna exit and be enthused to get it. And we’ll exit and help a few of our personal and exit to our personal file shops, which is necessary.
“And I feel it’s necessary that no matter colour you might be, you help a few of the Black-owned file shops. I acquired a name immediately from my lawyer, who I like, who’s all the time telling me, ‘I simply purchased this file on wax.’ At present he mentioned, ‘I want you to get me a file retailer out right here in L.A. that’s Black-owned that I can go to.’ And that made me proud. That’s the way in which to alter issues in actual natural, pure ways in which come from being a very good human being, to say, ‘Man, I’m going to go to this retailer and help a retailer that’s often not getting as a lot consideration or doesn’t have as a lot entry.’ And that’s dope. That’s a part of the way in which we alter the world.”
Moreover providing help for impartial retailers in his Zoom name with them, Common defined the intentions behind his “A Stunning Revolution Pt. 1” launch.
“I wrote it in late August and September, and I used to be writing it from the whole lot that had occurred via the summer time,” he mentioned. “The summer time of 2020 to me crystalized a whole lot of issues, and lots of people acquired to see it as a result of we have been nonetheless. However these have been issues we had skilled all through our lives, whether or not we noticed Rodney King or Yusef Hawkins or Amadou Diallo, so George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have been simply shining examples” of incidents that have been already commonplace in extra distracted instances. “For me, the story of Emmett Until affected me once I was somewhat child. So I wished this file to be one thing that took that cost — as a result of I walked in a few of the protests; I used to be across the individuals — and I wished to take that power and put it into music that was productive in ways in which could possibly be inspiring. It might nonetheless have the drive and cost of what revolution is, however be culminating into one thing that’s lovely and vivid, and if you put it on you’re feeling higher.
“This music for positive is motion music,” he mentioned. He had his personal checklist os supply information for his new one: “After I consider motion music, I consider Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy and KRS-One. In truth I used to be listening to a whole lot of KRS-One and ‘90s hip-hop earlier than I began this challenge.”