Rehab Records is an independently run retail shop stocking a large range of products unique to hip hop culture. The store opened 5 years ago after its founder Matty and employee Joe, wanted to create a space that could showcase hip hop culture as a whole. They had a desire to show people that the origin and progression of hip hop is more than just a genre of music. Initially opened in Indooroopilly, Rehab made the decision 2 years ago to relocate to the Bell Bros Building in Fortitude Valley. A decision that has had many positives in itself as the inner city location adds to the whole hip hop vibe and feel.
The store has a wide variety of products to cater to all tastes within the culture, no matter how diverse. They carry a nice range of art books with both graffiti art and some more traditional art forms, street wear labels from local and international companies, and a huge range of art supplies in different mediums including aerosol paint, inks, mops, markers and sketch pens and pads. Then of course, there is the music, which is mostly rap and hip hop, although they do carry a small electronic selection on the vinyl shelves. The guys have a real passion for vinyl, seeing it as a fantastic form of music, with Joe stating "we want to stock more and more of it. It is a real experience buying or digging for vinyl 'cause many go through a process to find that perfect piece of wax or that perfect sample and that's what we love about vinyl and why we want to stock more of it from more different genres."
The guys try and maintain a competitive approach to their business in terms of stock, prices and the like. However, they feel it is more important that they are communicating with their customers in a way that is above and beyond others in the field. Whether this be educating someone who is a novice to the culture or going on a quest to find a record someone is chasing, the team are willing to help. Rehab feels that this factor combined with a unique atmosphere, sets them apart from the competition. "You can cruise in and see one of us usually having a scratch on the decks or having a sketch so as soon as people walk in, there is that familiarity or something they haven't seen being done. I have found that the scratching is always intriguing to the younger crowd who have seen much less vinyl in their life" Joe explained.
Matty and Joe feel the most rewarding part of working at Rehab Records is the ability to be in a hub that gives the culture a place to physically exist. Meaning that people can be surrounded by the things they love that have shaped a huge part of who they are and how they think. They also love the fact that they can help others along their Hip Hop journey. Joe adds, "for example, if one kid ends up getting turntables for Christmas then it re starts the cycle, someone learning about it all, getting good, perhaps mastering it and then passing it on. It is very rewarding knowing you contributed to the growth of something you love."
Having a store that personifies hip hop culture, it was interesting to see what the guys at Rehab think of Brisbane's hip hop culture. Ultimately, they feel that it's growing more and more everyday, which is something they love. Joe explained, "It has so much potential and people in it that are putting in so much work to really put it on the map and make people notice it, and it's paying off. This I love as long as the roots are taught and understood to those who are taking an interest in it. You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you came from."
When it comes to future plans for the store, the team is remaining tight lipped stating that "a magician never reveals his secrets but we aren't going anywhere and definitely have some things in the pipeline."
In the meantime, you can go in and say hello, follow them on Facebook or check out their blog. In closing the guys add, "remember, know your roots, be proud of them and never forget them. Outside of that have fun, do what you do and spread the good word."
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