BEST PLACE TO BUY VINYL Minneapolis 2006 - Fifth Element
Grandmaster Flash had adventures on the wheels of steel, not skylarkings on the laser semiconductor of polycarbonate (or whatever). In other words, hip hop and vinyl go together like bluegrass and mandolins. At the recently expanded Fifth Element, the digital/analog battle logically goes to the underdog: The CD section feels like an afterthought next to the shop's expansive selection of long players, 12-inch singles, break-beat collections, and other accessories for the vinyl fetishist. The joint has wax editions of most new rap releases, though remember that modern albums packaged as single CDs are often spread over a couple of LPs, making for better fidelity but a disjointed home-listening experience. Think of the frequent trips to change sides as a mild exercise regimen. The store also stocks lots of reissued 12-inch singles and full-length albums, so if you're a virtuoso turntablist looking for a copy of Brand Nubian's debut, or a bedroom DJ who wants to hear the new Murs in the traditional format, your wheels-of-steel adventures are just around the corner.