We had a chance to catch up with Kero One to chop it up about his recent cassette release and reminisce about his tape trading days...

So what was your first Rap tape and where did you buy it?

My first rap tape, embarrassingly enough would probably be Marky Mark...the Vibration. I don't even remember what it was called...(Smooth Vibrations). It was a single and I bought that at the warehouse, which use to be the biggest store in the bay area to buy tapes (and cd’s). My first album was LL Cool J's Radio.

What inspired you to release your tape?

Well, it wasn't probably the smartest business decision because not everyone owns a tape player, but I released the tape mostly for nostalgic value. How it originally happened was I was going through a bunch of my tapes one day and I just started getting the urge to reminisce on some of these recorded cassettes that I have. We used to record a lot of the radio shows like the Wake-Up show with Sway and King Tech. On their show they would always have the biggest names dropping by to kick freestyles. I had the original Heiro vs. Hobo battle recorded on tape and as I was listening to it, fast forwarding and rewinding it all brought me back. I just started listening to it and got inspired and thought "man this is really cool, I miss the the whole aspect of the tape." We were also designing a shirt for my single "In all the wrong places" and the design of the shirt was a cassette tape. So I thought it would be cool to release the shirt and the tape together. So we printed up a limited amount of copies of the "In all the wrong places" tape, a maxi-single. It's got 2 instrumental beats that we threw on there as well. It's definitely something that I thought would be different and fun because I think I can count on my hand the number of people I know still printing hiphop tapes. Ultimately, I've just always wanted to have an official tape of my own, and that was reason enough to make it. That's also how I made my own 12-inch. You know it's just because I wanted one and printed it...

Any memorable tape moments?

The tape game back in the day was all about trading dubbed tapes... back before you can find mp3s on the internet. You couldn't really hear any radio shows from the East Coast or anywhere outside of your city. In order to get that, you actually had to find somebody that had a friend or knew somebody in the East Coast that dubbed it and then dubbed them a copy...or mailed them a copy. So me and my friend Antonio from Ciphermedia would go around and look for cats that had the rarest tapes. We found a couple guys who had a bunch of these recorded tapes of Future Flavas, Mic Check radio shows from New York. So we met up with him and he had this list and we had our list. So we pulled up our cars in the parking lot and broke out our tapes and just started trading. That was the cool thing about tapes because you really got to meet and connect with cool people that you would otherwise not have met. I acquired a lot of tapes like that. I remember I got a tape of unreleased percee p stuff mailed to me from this russian kid in Boston. I remember checking the mail everyday because he wanted me to send him my rare tape first and I didn't know if he’d actually send it to me. I also got the Project Blowed tape before it came out (hella bad quality because it was probably a dub of a dub of a dub), Underground Airplay stuff from Seattle, Log Cabin demos, Black Eyed Eeas (At Band Klan) demos and Rob One mixtapes (before I knew who the heck he even was) etc etc.

Alot of indie labels are pressing up tapes (Stones Throw, Nature Sounds, Redef Records) What do you think is the future of the tape?

Well, first off...I'll say with the advent of Strictly Cassette, I think there's definitely high hopes for the future of tapes coming back to some extent. Because honestly if you think about it, kids are growing up and they're just listening to these purely intangible sources of music. Bits and bytes is really what it is. They have yet to experience the feel of not only going into the store but also seeing and feeling the tangible music. So for younger guys, it's something new and cool and it plays into the nostalgia factor for the older guys. So if you still got a tape player around, it's fun to find these albums that you can pop in and listen to all the way through. Now it's a singles generation right? Like everybody is trying to manufacture songs on a singles level for itunes donwloads whereas before you had albums that you can listen to from beginning to end. So I think it's cool when people can release tapes but not only do that just for the sake of it but to release albums that you can listen to all the way through...because rewinding and fast-forwarding is a bitch! Haha

Make sure you check up with Kero One to see what he's up to.  You can cop his "In All The Wrong Places" Cassette here in the shop.


  1. Slang Disco5.1.12

    nice this brought back memories of sitting in my room recording the wake up show i got a few of them battles still on tape the one with aceyalone vs common is my favorite

  2. @Slang Disco - No doubt man. I haven't heard that battle yet. I would kill to have to cop a dub of it from you!

  3. aceyalone vs common??! please upload that

    1. I got the download of it. Email me at

  4. Slang Disco5.1.12

    @joe going to make buttonpusha a copy this weekend its up to him if he wants to upload it

  5. Bang2000XL17.1.12

    this is dope, the 1st time i met Kero was at the beat swapmeet, cool dude & i checked out his tapes but i didnt know he brought his album, i saw the mixtapes, the homie BP copped that ill Rob One Tape!!! i need a dub son!!

    1. @Bang2000xl - I got you on that dub fam...don't trip. In fact, I hooked JJohnson up with one recently!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.