I don’t make beats. I just hoard them for safekeeping.
My obsession with collecting records began in my early teens. One day I was down in the basement looking for my Cabbage Patch Kid (I have no idea why). Climbing through boxes labeled “Christmas” and “Easter,” I found one of my mother’s stacks of old 45 rpm vinyl. Inside were singles from The Beatles, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, anything and everything I either knew or was about to discover from artists that lived in an era that I now like to call “Kathy Was Born Too Late.”
That action, though—the climbing, the unearthing—it stuck with me into my 20s as my tastes changed and I became a fan of hip-hop, a music constructed (initially) from bits and pieces of old records. I became a bona fide “cratedigger.” During college, I would leave campus on breaks and head to downtown Bloomfield, New Jersey where I believe the best-kept secrets in vinyl discovery were really located. I headed to record stores like Crazy Rhythms (R.I.P.), book stores with secret cellars, instrument fix-it shops with random record piles and even church swapmeets, all the while doped up on Claritin and wearing a surgical mask to ward off the effects of my severe dust allergy. As one of the few girls who has taken part, I would get looks from the guys on their vinyl searches as they observed my selections at a distance, but politely gave me my space to work alongside them.