5 historic hip-hop sites in Los Angeles
1) Kendrick Lamar's Childhood Home
The rapper and seven-time Grammy Award winner (and he’ll get more) once lived in this three-bedroom house; as this is a private home, please don’t disturb the current residents. Throughout his work, Lamar evocatively recalls his childhood growing up in Compton, from happily riding his bike down the street to witnessing a murder.
2) 'Let me ride' Video Location
The music video for Dr. Dre’s 1992 hit ‘Let Me Ride’ was shot on location in South Los Angeles, much of it along Slauson Avenue. If you don’t remember it, here’s a reminder: everyone is in it – Dre, Snoop Dogg, even Ice Cube.
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3) Site of Death Row Records
Founded in 1991 by music mogul Suge Knight and rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, Death Row was one of hiphop’s most influential and profitable labels until a series of internal problems (including the murder of Tupac Shakur and Knight serving prison time) led it to file for bankruptcy in 2006.
4) World on Wheels
Today it’s a nondescript gym, but this space was the near sacred site of a beloved roller-skating rink that played a vital part in fostering the city’s early hip-hop scene. The subject of at least two documentary films (United Skates and LA Roll), activist and rapper Nipsey Hussle tried to revive the rink after its original closure in 2013. Sadly, his tragic death and the pandemic made the revival impossible.
5) Site of V.I.P. Records
This one-time record shop is seminal in the history of hip-hop. Long-time owner Kelvin Anderson opened the store in 1978 and oversaw the transition from R&B to rap – in fact, he contributed to it by installing a recording studio in the shop, which is where Snoop Doggy Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg recorded their demo. The rest is history.
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