Saturday, March 22, 2008
Can You Dig It? Vol. 20: Rich Medina
Name: Rich Medina
Claim to Fame: If I had to say I had a claim to fame, I guess it would be versatility and introducing a great deal of people to the afro beat sound. I’ve been known for stringing together records that don’t usually follow each other, let alone follow each other sensibly or seamlessly, mixing live drummer records for 16 bars or better, and staying away from the program director format.
Representing: I’m from Lakewood, New Jersey, so I rep New Jerooz for sure. I’ve been living in Philly since 1992 and making loud noise in NYC for a very long time as well. So my origins are Jersey, my base is Philly, and my 2nd playground to Philly has been NYC.
Years in the Game: I’ve been in the DJ game for way too damn long (Laughs). I’ve been DJing professionally since 1992 when King Britt gave me my first real club break at Silk City. Beyond the professional tag, I’ve been DJing since I was 10. I’m 38 now. That would make me half a senior citizen. Wait, that shit ain’t funny now that I’m thinking about seeing it written down (Laughs).
Best Digging City or Town: Man, there are so many, but I guess I’d have to say Philly. Honestly, I’ve gotten more solid plates per square mile in Philadelphia than I've gotten anywhere, and I’ve been digging for a really long time. There goes that age thing again…shit!
Most Prized Piece of Wax: My most coveted piece of wax has got to be my copy of Opposite People by Fela Kuti because it has it was given to me by Ghariokwu Lemi, Fela’s LP cover artist for his first 27 or 28 LP covers. He autographed like eight others for me as well, but they were stolen from me, and I’m honestly still sick to my stomach over it.
Favorite Album Cover/s: My three favorites are
Charles Earland’s Leaving This Planet
Miles David Bitches Brew
and Fela’s No Coffin for Head of State.
Dollar Bin Miracle: I found Eugene McDaniels Headless Heroes of The Apocalypse LP outside Miami in 2001.
Total Records Owned: 30,000 including my 45’s and 78’s.
Best Digging Story: Once I was on the road in Canada and me and my man Rob Rizk hit up this spot called Recordland in Calgary. It was a little hole in the wall shop way out in the cut. The place had library shelves crammed and stacked to the ceiling with LP’s and 45’s as well as random concert posters, music books, and eight track tapes. They were mostly in alphabetical order, which was super impressive for such a big and busy shop.
It was the dead of winter and brick outside. We sat next to the heater listening to joints on my portable turntable for about three hours when the owner asked where we were from. When I said Philadelphia, he walked us out behind the shop in the snow. In the back was a kind of trailer that had no heat and a roof that was caving in, but also had a ton of Philly International 12’s and Tamla Motown 45’s. I almost shat myself.
14 hours later we were heading out of the place looking for a Fed Ex to mail the boxes and boxes of 7 inches and singles home. They had so much heat in there; I was dumbfounded as to how they hadn’t been blown out already by other beat fiends like me. It cost me 250 just to ship the shit home, so you can imagine what I spent.
To learn more about Rich Medina start by checking out his MySpace. His website is currently under construction.