Spin City

Jason Salgado, owner, Beats, Vinyl & Life

As owner of Beats, Vinyl & Life record store, he sells it. As DJ Deps Love, Jason Salgado spins it.

How did you end up owning a record store specializing in hip-hop and reggae in Orange County?

I bought the store off of my friend about three years ago. I'd always wanted to own a record store. I was working mortgage and all kinds of other jobs, and it was offered to me one day. After about two years I built up some clientele and got some promotion out. We were doing shows. We had a stage there and everything. We had some barbecues, just some things for people to come together and kick back. It was all positive. It was multicultural hip-hop community. Then I got kicked out of the old spot. They doubled my rent, this dude that's running for Anaheim City Council now. I won't even say his name. I moved about a year ago. We were shut down for three months. We found a little location at 918 West Lincoln right by Anaheim High School. It's just a small spot. I'm working on the website now. You have to in this business because downloading kills it.

A lot of record stores in Orange County are closing.

Yeah. I've got my clientele and I just try to take care of them. Opening the website should more than double my business. That's going to make or break me because I've been grinding it out daily for a long time.

Does the fact that a lot of DJs prefer vinyl help your store?

Well, you'll never get the sound of vinyl through a compressed mp3 file. I like the feel of vinyl. Serato is the new thing. Basically you spin everything off your laptop. It looks like a record and the needle tracks some kind of code and you can play mp3s from your laptop on your turntables. But we sell CDs, DVDs and T-shirts, too. That's one thing I had to expand on because there's so much downloading. That's a little lesson I learned because I never went to school for business.

When your rent was raised do you think it was to get rid of you?

Yeah. Hip-hop gets hated on in general. Because it's shown so negatively in the media . . . you only get one side of the spectrum through videos and radio. That's all big money. It's like big oil, same principle. There are people who do it for the love of the art and put a lot of heart into it. Those people should make money too. But for some people money is all that's driving them.

Do you see the dividing line being between commercial and underground hip-hop?

It's major label or independent basically. Not all major label music is bad. I can't hate on some beats. It's just the subject matter of some MCs. I won't even call them MCs. I'll call them rappers. There's so much more you could be doing, especially in this day and age.

Why rappers rather than MCs?

An MC is someone that can stand in front of a crowd and really control the crowd and speak to the crowd and actually have some skill with it and something behind it. Rappers are just up there rapping and yapping basically. Rapping is just like what we're doing—we're just talking, we're rapping about hip-hop. But they might rhyme a little bit. It's based on skill.

Do you see more rappers than MCs today?

Yeah. The line gets crossed sometimes but it is what it is nowadays. There are kids now that grew up on the last five years of hip-hop. I grew up on stuff from the '80s and '90s, which was a totally different era. In the mid-'90s it just totally changed.

You're still DJing as DJ Deps Love too?

Yeah. I'm actually going to be working with some kids at an elementary school in Anaheim. I know a girl there that teaches. I'm going to show kids some DJing and some skills, scratching, get them turned onto some things. It's an after-school thing. We'll show them and then get them to sign up for a class.

Have any local favorites?

Technicali is doing their thing. Visionaries are doing their thing. I'm a fan of a lot of the Stones Throw stuff. I really don't want to drop any names. It's politics. Being a record store, if I don't mention somebody they get really irritated with me.

BEATS, VINYL & LIFE IS LOCATED AT 918 W. LINCOLN AVE., STE. 3, ANAHEIM, (714) 774-7780. VISIT WWW.BEATSVINYLANDLIFE.COM AND MYSPACE.COM/BEATSVINYLANDLIFE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

 
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