I remember when I first saw A.C. the Program Director's tape collection at his old music/art supply store known as the Air GrafX Shop.  His spot was located in the city of Long Beach right next to the World Famous V.I.P. Records off Martin Luther King Blvd. and PCH.  This was when I first became acquainted with the man behind HIPHOPPHILOSOPHY.COM

As the founder, he is a busy man with many trades. He is a DJ first, then a producer, promoter, clothing designer, radio station owner/founder/program director, booking agent and professional A&R.  The elements that separate him as a DJ, and Radio, from any other is that 100% of the music on every mix/radio show he does is new to him, music he has never played before. All 500+ of the mixes/radio shows are dated, recorded and saved.

Hip Hop Philosophy also became widely known for their bold statement T-Shirts. You can see legends including DJ Premier rocking his infamous "HIP HOP IS NOT ON THE RADIO" and my personal favorite "F_CK YOU BITERS..." shirt.  Aside from putting together legendary Hip Hop shows across Los Angeles, he is mostly noted for starting the first 24-hour Hip Hop Radio show and playing music for you to "get down and not sit down..."

Luckily, we were able to catch A.C. for a brief moment to rewind...

(SC)  Do you remember your first tape and where you bought it? 

No chance ... I can remember the first and only tape I ever got caught stealing. Roxanne Shante's Bad Sister album ... I had been waiting since 85 for her to drop her first full-length ... My grandfather had to come get me from the Tower Records in Buena Park ... I started buying tapes right around the 84-85 era when regular music stores stopped selling records ... it sucked, but it was the best way for this poor kid to keep up with the music coming out, other than recording HipHop radio shows ...

(SC) Most people have stories of tapes getting stolen, lost or destroyed.  Do you still have your entire tape collection?

I have some very painful holes in my 700+ collection ... I have them alphabetized, and back in 2002-2003 my partner, who I used to produce concerts with, "borrowed" a certain 10 special tapes to make flyers with the cover art ... he had a car wreck and I never saw those tapes again ... he was well-off and had no concept of the value of what he took ... I also recently sold my 20-tape DJ Shiite mixtape collection to a homey for $200. I needed the money, and I already made a six-volume Best of DJ Shiite CD mix series, so I still have all of the special moments from his tapes that I loved ...

(SC)  Best music store to purchase tapes (old & new)

I don't know man, I used to get tapes any place I went, no particular favorites that I can think of .... AMC Records in San Bernardino back in the days was cool ... The Central City Mall in San Bernardino used to have some cool tapes, and Groovetime as well.  I used to have a scheme to get tapes from big chains like Wherehouse, Music-Plus, Sam Goody, etc... 

I would put an old tape I didn't want in a brand new tape jewel case, go to the counter and tell the person this "I just bought this tape yesterday, I swore I left the receipt in the car, looked everywhere and can't find it. But, (the punchline)  I don't want my money back, I just want to exchange it" ... 95%+ of the time it worked.

(SC)  Do you remember what was the LAST tape that you bought (if you stopped at all)

Can't remember, maybe The Roots - Things Fall Apart ... Hated it too ... The reliability of many artists continued to get worse with time ... good albums were getting harder to find ...

(SC)  How do you compare listening to tapes vs. MP3's?

Tapes always sounded great. Always loved tapes, never listened to MP3's till I ran out of music and money to buy more music I never heard before ... Tape decks in cars are forever great ...

(SC)  Do you think Hip Hop (or music in general) changed a lot after the cassette era? 

As time goes on and as society gets sicker, the artistic environment will always reflect the sick society and get sicker/worse ... That's a whole other subject though ...

(SC)  Several indie labels pressed up cassettes.  Is it a gimmick?  Or do you think people still like tapes?

There will always be people who like tapes, just like there will always be people who like records ... The whole concept of the death or extinction of these mediums is perversely false.

(SC)  Any last shout outs or comments?

Almost every cent I ever had was spent on music. Records first, then tapes, then back to records ... I love people who can relate to that ... people who can't, but think they love HipHop, really cannot comprehend the lifestyle of the pioneers from the 70's and 80's ... That sense of love and passion for the art is a lost reality, never to be felt again by human beings ...

The whole collection experience was about having the hard copy, original cover-art with the linear notes, the sound quality, the product in the way that the artist who painted the auditory picture wanted the listener to have ... Only real Dj's, fans and supporters of art care about that sort of thing, and there will always be these type of people ...

Also, part of growing up with tapes was being able to record on them, borrowing my father's ghetto blaster so that I could record HipHop radio shows ... having tapes full of the best moments from the radio shows ... it wasn't till the 90's that I realized how I should always save all my tapes (I always made a point to find and buy it on original tape or wax eventually, which I did and then some) ... Then later on around 2006 after I started Radio, I was able to put together a show project featuring all of my favorite moments from my tapes recorded in the 90's on the LA-area HipHop radio shows that I had access to during that time ... As an extra bonus to this feature on my tape collecton, I am including the links to my Golden Moments in 90's LA HipHop Radio Special Volume 1 and 2 along with a picture of some of the tapes used to make this recording collection ...


HipHopPhilosophy Radio - Golden Moments in 90s LA HipHop Radio History Part 1
HipHopPhilosophy Radio - Golden Moments in 90s LA HipHop Radio History Part 1 by AC The Program Director14

HipHopPhilosophy Radio - Golden Moments in 90s LA HipHop Radio History Part 2
HipHopPhilosophy Radio - GOLDEN MOMENTS IN 90s LA HIPHOP RADIO SHOWS Part 2 by AC The Program Director16

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  1. Man dope article Fam!! A.C. the p.d. is the man! I remember his spot on pine ave here in da LBC.

  2. @Dr. Nyquist!!?! Yup, I remember the Pine spot too. I used to swing by the VIP location though cuz my man Rob from Texas who was a writer wanted to grab supplies. We ended up just chillin' and networking with other folks who were there. I've been to several of the events there as well. That's how I first met A.C. as well as other spots that he threw. I believe the first and only time I ever saw Poor Righteous Teachers live was when he brought them out to the Gabah...

  3. Nice!!! Ac's the man ... Great article

  4. Another dope article fam. I'm downloading the links as I type. Looking forward to listening here in the UK.

  5. Anonymous14.1.12

    Yo AC,

    Snippet mix-tapes do work fam!

  6. Bang2000XL17.1.12

    thats dope he mentioned DJ Shiite, i was bangin 1 of his tapes 2day in the truck along with a DJ Drone tape, str8 classics!! i remember when i 1st copped a AC The PD comp from Rhino after hearin about him on the Downlow...still got that joint!!!

    1. Thas dope man. I alway hear about how rare those DJ Shiite tapes are. but yeah, AC is always schoolin' heads on the real shit. I give him mad respect for standing up for what he believes in. Not too many defenders in hip hop today. Maybe that's why a lot of stuff we hear is garbage...

  7. Anonymous11.3.12

    *LOVE IT* didnt want the article to end...

    1. Thanks for checking out the feature! AC is the man. Make sure you peep our other features!


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