It’s no secret especially if you’re in the know about the 90’s digging and record culture amongst DJ’s and producers and the many legendary stories of Prince Be (of PM Dawn) and his obsession of buying records at shows coast to coast and at the most infamous show of them all, the Roosevelt Convention in New York. Prince Be was known for walking in and buying up all sorts of gems at inflated prices that other producers often scoffed at but none of this bothered Prince Be. His collection is extremely stacked and one of the most diverse in genres around. With the blessing of Prince Be’s (who passed away in 2016) family, his collection will be sold at an upcoming Rappcats event with help from longtime friend, Georges Sulmers.
“Prince Be is the late co-founder, producer, and lead singer of PM Dawn. “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” and a handful of their hits were mainstays in the 90s and the style of hip-hop he helped create paved the way for many, from Kanye West to Justin Timberlake. “You are a huge influence on me and so many,” wrote Timberlake, upon Be’s death in 2016.
As a producer, Be worked with Timberlake and The Backstreet Boys, The Bee Gees, Earth Wind & Fire, and Elton John. He was always digging and was a constant fixture at record shows, including the now legendary Roosevelt Conventions in New York City. When the Stark Reality was a $500 album and Mulatu of Ethiopia was exchanging hands for $125 these were considered impossible sums for many open-minded collectors. Be was making hits and spending his hard-earned dough in search for the perfect break-beat and sample.
His record collection bears witness to this. His collection touches all genres – soul, jazz, rock and sound library records – from the common to the obscure. On the obscure, he went deep. There are the spiritual jazz records on the lauded Tribe label, the 90s-grails which have gotten no easier to source, like Dennis Coffey’s Hair and Thangs, and thousands of other albums.
Prince Be’s long-time friend Georges Sulmers, who issued some of Be’s music as Mood Swingaz on his Raw Shack Records imprint in the 1990s, has gone through and curated a series of records from Be’s collection that he will sell at this, the first installment of a handful of Rappcats pop-ups.
PRINCE BE RECORD COLLECTION
Saturday, September 17, Noon-6PM
Rappcats, 5638 York Blvd, Los Angeles