It's been such a trip so far.  As we dive deeper into the world of cassettes, we realize that we aren't alone.  It's always great to find other allies.

A few weeks back, we learned about a newly formed London based Hip Hop cassette label called 100 AkresAfter doing our feature on the tape release for JUELS, we knew we had to get in touch with the man behind the label.  After an initial visit to their website, it was clear that these guys plan to stick around.

We caught up real quick with the Producer/DJ/Label stuff do-er known as Fresh Nerd...the man behind the magnetic curtain.

UglyBoomBox Side A by 100 Akres Cassette Label

(SC) Tell us about 100akres.

Wow, where do I start? 100 Akres has been alive in my mind since 2003 but hadn’t come to fruition until about 2009. I recall sitting in my cubicle at my sh*tty sales job in Vernon, Ca drawing rough drafts of the 100 Akres logo. Every time my manager walked by and saw me drawing, he’d crumple my designs and throw them away telling me to “get back on the phone”. Shoutout to him.

100 Akres is a little, tiny DIY hip hop label and 100 Akres Ltd. is the distribution arm that makes and sells the cassettes all while stalking dope up-coming beatmakers.  It took awhile for me to evolve into running my own operation. It came from years of rejection when I was in LA to be honest. I was playing what I call the ‘submission game’, submitting beats to artists for their upcoming projects from Paul Wall to Common to you name it. I got a bit fed up with major label politics and the politics behind “submitting” in itself that I decided it’s not for me and I’d rather have control over my destiny than play lotto.  I want 100 Akres to be that thing or entity to give the little guys a chance. I hear countless of incredible artists and beatmakers that are being overlooked and it just doesn’t make sense to why they’re not being heard. I want to help create that vehicle or platform while implementing fresh ideas.  

(SC)  What gave you the idea to start a cassette label?

Really random, but I was researching the punk movement for class one day last year and I took a liking to everything punk stood for and the DIY nature of it. It reminded me of hip hop but they had this network of trading tapes and zines which I thought was dope. 

Also, I’m an 80’s kid so tapes are a part of me and what I grew up with. I vividly recall making tapes from radio shows. Being nice with the pause button to catch a song without any DJs talking over it. Yea…and collecting mixtapes back in middle school (Clue, S&S, Ron G, Premier, etc.)….I was a mixtape fanatic. I remember being in my friend’s backyard getting my haircut and someone had brought over the new S&S tape which had 5 joints from Tribe’s Midnight Marauders album. That changed my life! I’m talking months before Midnight Marauders officially dropped.

But most of all, it just made sense to me to deliver beat tapes…..on tape.

(SC)  You got some great up and coming artists on there.  How did you connect with these guys?

All of the guys I release, I’m a genuine fan of. I simply reached out to see if they’re down for putting out a tape with 100 Akres Ltd. Out of all the beatmakers I’ve reached out to, I’ve only been declined once. Me, being an underdog as well, I know what I would consider a fair deal to be if someone were to approach me. So I always look at it from the point of view of “Ok, how can we both win?”

(SC)  What are people's thoughts when they see the cassettes? 

The response has been mixed. Some people don’t understand why in the world anyone would sell cassettes in 2012 and ask, “Are you sure you want do this??” LOL

On the flipside, seeing the initial reaction of a true music lover once they hold the tape in their hand….there’s nothing better than that. There are still tape heads and audiophiles out there that love the high quality of sound that physical mediums (vinyl & cassette) provide over mp3s.

(SC)  Do you still buy and play cassettes?

I haven’t bought cassettes in awhile actually. The last tape I bought was Funkmaster Flex & Big Kap – The Tunnel back in ‘99 or 2000 I think it was. I just got access to a tape deck after moving from the States and I’m itching to start collecting again now that I’m a bit more settled.

(SC)  So what's in the future for tapes? 

I think tapes will always have a place and audience. Not as big as the vinyl audience, but there will be heads from my generation that love tapes and hopefully we can get those younger than us into them as well. The whole process of making a tape is so much more personal and I feel that’s missing from the culture these days.

(SC)  Any last shouts or comments?

Shoutout to everyone I’m currently working with. The Soulstice, they’ll be the first MCs we release on tape and I’m producing the project as well. LA (dope artist/lyricist from Brooklyn), we’re working on LA Lytes….it’s gonna be incredible. I’m going to talk her into dropping a maxi-single on cassette but she doesn’t know that yet. Ha! Big shoutout to my homie Larry Achiampong (Black Phoenix)…he’s been helping a lot behind the scenes and has been a big part of decisions 100 Akres has been making lately and we have a project in the works as well.
That’s about it. Thanks for having me and much respect to what you guys are doing for the cassette culture.


  1. Bang2000XL23.1.12

    Thats dope!!! Makin tapes is more personal, gotta keep this alive, 100 Akres is what i would love to do with SC, whether its a actual beat tape or a rap tape on cassette, i want SC to be that new Tape Label, plus alot of the TapeKingz are musicians so it could happen!!! This article has the future lookin even brighter for us...much props 100 Akres!!!

    1. Anonymous23.1.12

      No doubt! The cassette is like a collectible. People always like the physical copy and I definitely see the doors opening up with new cassette labels. It's a whole new playground. DJ's can go back to making real mixtapes and producers can do the same with real beat tapes. Big ups to 100 AKRES for blazing their own trails!

  2. Really enjoyed the article! It's great to hear that your doing big things with the tapes. I'm going to check out the site now. When I come down to London next we should connect.

  3. Justiceson31.1.12

    Another dope article. I like what Bang was talking about up top too. Long live analog!


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