Yeah, I’m totally a know it all. But you know what? I’m fine with that… Usually.
Today Mike and I scoured the Mission for yard sales. On the apex of our adventure we came across a yard sale on 18th and Valencia with a cool collection of books, cds, and tapes.
Right away I noticed one tape in the pile marked Q-Bert. I hovered around the box waiting for the schmuck that was digging in the pile to finish, but it became quickly apparent that he was just some socially awkward dude just trying to find an excuse to get somebody to talk to him.
Working retail for as long as I have, I’ve come across many people like this that just enjoy talking to salespeople.
So this guy is going through the pile and asking questions about everything “this says Portishead mix, is that an album?”
“No, it’s just a mix of Portishead songs.” she replied.
“Oh cool… What’s Portishead?”
*sigh* “They’re just a band. A trip hop band.”
“Cool. Hey this looks cool, what’s De La Soul.”
And on and on and on again.
I hate being a prick and digging through a crate when someone else is ruffling through it, so I’m just standing right behind the dude hoping that eventually he’ll realize he’s annoying the lady who’s selling the tapes.
Obviously the dude finally pulls out the Q-Bert mixtape and asks what it is. The lady has finally given up on answering all of his inane questions and simple says “I don’t know.”
I had a feeling that the guy wouldn’t really be interested in picking up the cassette, I mean it’s packaging looked like a child drew it. In fact, it looked like it had even been hand colored with crayons. The tape had been mass produced and had the Dirtstyle logo on it, but to any lay person it would appear to be utterly worthless. I knew that this guy probably wouldn’t buy it and that he was just looking for conversation, but for some reason when he said “God, this is just so weird looking. I can’t figure out who DJ Q-Bert is though.” I had to answer him.
“That’s an early recording of DJ Q-Bert. It looks like Shortkut and DJ Disk are also on it. Q-Bert is a Daly City DJ that started a turntable group called The Invisibl Skratch Piklz with DJ Apollo and MixMasterMike.” I said. I could hear the words coming out of my mouth, but I couldn’t believe I was saying them. I meant to just shut up and wait it out, but for some reason I started talking and talking and talking.
“So, it’s a rap tape?” He asked. Did I mention he was in FUBU jeans and a Phat Farm shirt?
“Um, not really. It’s actually probably going to be more of a dj scratch record. Q-Bert is one of the most influential DJ’s in hip hop. He pioneered a shit load of scratch techniques, but he did it with this “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. So most of his DJ records are pretty sloppy and tongue in cheek. This will probably be a record with a lot of simplistic beats and people scratching the word “word!” over and over again. Q-Bert still lives in DC and he’s scratched on shitloads of important albums like Dr. Octagon’s debut album. MixMasterMike is the Beastie Boys DJ now.” Again, I just couldn’t stop talking. I guess at a certain point I had realized that I had sold him on buying the tape. So it changed from me trying to keep my mouth shut to me trying to make sure that if this asshole was gonna buy the tape he would at least know why it was significant.
“Cool, I’ll get this and the Cranberries tape.”