Rock Steady Break Beats Mixtapes
One thing that collecting can often give you is bragging rights. Whether it's comic books, baseball cards or vinyl records, the best way to show how 'down' you are is by showing off cool items in your collection that serve as tangible expressions of your passion or interest in a subject.
I consider myself an early adopter of hip-hop culture and have lots of stuff that shows just how long I've been down. The best examples are my records, but they're all back in Chicago. Well, I do have all my old school graffiti photos, but that's another story...
When I got my hands on a series of four Rock Steady Break Beats mixtapes produced by Mr. Wiggles of the Rock Steady Crew, though, they reminded me of the kinds of cool stuff that I have back in Chi-town. And it wasn't so much the music that did it, but the graffiti-flavored imagery on the cassette inserts and on the cassettes themselves.
These mixtapes were put out by Wiggles in the mid-1990s, which is when I bought 'em at the previously mentioned Style Rock Shop. I listened to 'em quite a bit, too, but it's probably been more than a decade now since I've felt the need. I have my old boom box in the closet, but whenever I pull it out it's usually to listen to even older cassettes of radio broadcasts from Chicago.
In the process of digitizing the inserts illustrated by Wiggles for this blog post, I decide that my Rock Steady Break Beats mixtapes would go the way of Ebay. I've got my memories and now some really good scans that I can use to document some of the cool items that I once had in my collection.
With or without 'em, I'll always be 'down by law.'