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Record Store Day 4/20

Rappcats, 5638 York Blvd, Los Angeles – Saturday, April 20, Noon-6.

Record Store Day 4/20

Rappcats opened its doors to customers for the first time on Record Store Day in 2015.

2024 marks our tenth year of hosting pop up record shops. Egon hosted the first Rappcats pop up and he’s helming 2024’s Record Store Day opening, selling hundreds of rare records from his collection and Rappcats' two official Record Store Day releases: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Pinata (10 Year Anniversary Edition) on Madlib Invazion and his Now-Again compilation Pale Shades of Grey: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads and Dirges, 1969-1976.

“It’s basically a reminder of why we started the events,” Egon says. “In 2015 we had two Record Store Day releases coming via Rappcats and no shop to sell them in. Highland Park had like half a dozen record shops and we weren’t one of them. I decided to change that.”

The metal fabricators at Organica Creations were brought in and they quickly created collapsible steel doors in the front of the Now-Again/Madlib Invazion offices. Well, kind of quickly: they were welding until 4 am on Record Store Day morning. Egon pulled rarities from his collection and quickly priced them for sale. And doors opened. It was a resounding success.

Egon hosted four pop up shops that year, once per quarter. “It was difficult to pull them off, and I blew through a large portion of my collection, selling records I’ve never seen again,” he recalls. “But it builds momentum. I always wanted to see record events in LA that reminded me of the legendary Roosevelt Hotel conventions in New York in the 1990s that had changed the way I thought about music. Rappcats pop ups became our Roosevelts.”

Within two years, Rappcats had expanded to its current location, adjacent to the offices, and was hosting the likes of DJ Shadow, Joel Stones’ Tropicalia in Furs, Cool Chris’s Groove Merchant  and impossible to conceive one offs, like the events in which Spiritual Jazz legends Henry Franklin and Phil Ranelin sold their record collections. Franklin even performed, as patrons were offered exquisite pieces of wax like an uber-rare original World Experience Orchestra LP in the shrink wrap, with an inscription to Henry saying that he might like it as it sounded like Sun Ra. Ranelin sold acetates and test presses from his tenure at Tribe Records, the lauded label he co-founded in Detroit.

“Egon and this English guy (Four Tet) showed up at my house one day and were going through my records, and they were so excited,” Franklin remembers. “I didn’t think anyone would care. And man! Did that day (selling my record collection)  at Rappcats change my mind. People were going crazy!”

Rappcats was never meant to be a permanent fixture in LA’s vinyl milieu, hence the fact that, in our tenth year, we are still only hosting pop up events, on average once a month. Our events are one-offs, and can't be duplicated - the same collection is never sold twice, and the exhaustive process that goes into each event is, for us and our partners, exhausting.

“I don’t know how much longer these events can happen, but they are so worth the incredible effort they are to produce,” Egon says. “It’s been an honor for us to give back something to our community, not just Highland Park, but the music loving, record collecting community at large. That was the mission, and we’ll keep it going as long as we can.”

Lord Quas & the Zebra Gang. Edit from the album cover & poster for Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's Pinata 10 Year Edition. Illustration by Jeff Jank.