Amusing Memories: 1996 Tower Records Edition

Back in 1996, Tower Records was going strong and I used to visit one of their Portland (Oregon) locations pretty regularly. My background is in musical theatre and it was the only place I could go to find some of the rarer cast recordings of shows.

However.

On that nebulous day in 1996 (I have no idea when, though I’m fairly certain it was summer), I was looking for a song I didn’t know the artist of, nor did I know the name of the song itself. This was before the internet was remotely close to what it is now, so I couldn’t even look it up anywhere.

I was all of 18 at the time.

After wandering around for a while, I went up to the front counter to see if someone could help me figure out what I was looking for. There were two guys up there so I asked if they knew of the song, and I gave the only handful of lyrics I could remember:

Out on bail fresh outta jail, California dreamin’
Soon as I stepped on the scene I’m hearing hoochies screaming

And then I said the only words I could remember from the chorus:

California knows how to party
California knows how to party
In the city of LA
In the city of good old Watts
In the city, the city of Compton
Keep it rocking!
Keep it rocking!

Both guys looked at me like they had zero idea what I was talking about so I was ready to let it go. One guy said, “If you sang part of it, maybe it would help us figure it out?” So I was like, okay? Sure.

So I, an (at the time) 18 year old white girl, started trying to rap a song I didn’t even know in Tower Records.

I did what I could remember from the chorus and I started to notice both guys just losing their sh*t and I realized: they knew EXACTLY what song it was, they were just trying to see if I’d rap the d*mn thing, which I did, and they were BESIDE themselves.

One of them finally told me it was a song called California Love (of course it was) by Tupac Shakur (featuring Dr. Dre). They found me the CD single of it (remember those?), I bought it, and couldn’t get to my car fast enough.

I was MORTIFIED.

Thinking about it now is fairly hilarious to me. It’s not something I’d ever do to someone else, but I do think it’s funny they tried and that I did it, and with that song no less.

For anyone not familiar, I will post the song at the end so you can get the full effect of just how ridiculous I must have sounded trying to rap it.

With that I ask: what is one of your more amusing memories? Please share. <3

The reason all this came to mind was the other day my partner went to a party and had to drive through Inglewood and all I could think was:

YEAH INGLEWOOD, INGLEWOOD ALWAYS UP TO NO GOOD

KEEP IT ROCKING
KEEP IT ROCKING

NOW EVERYBODY SHAKE

Categories: musings

Tagged as: , , ,

4 replies »

  1. So, theres the white rapper Eminem, 12 inches of snow, I think he was Canadian, and now you.
    What year is it 1996
    My only question is what other covers you would perform?
    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

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