Long Beach record store that helped launch Snoop Dogg downsizes
World Famous VIP Records, a landmark in Long Beach, has downsized, moving from the Pacific Coast Highway space it occupied for 33 years to a store half the size.
Kelvin Anderson, the store's owner, said the era of computer downloads of music has relentlessly cut away at the store's profit.
"You can't compete with free," Anderson said in a report in Tuesday's Times.
Last year, the store sold more vinyl records than CDs and is staying open only because it also offers such services as deejaying parties and transferring vinyl records and VHS movies to digital formats, Anderson said.
In the early 1990s, VIP helped numerous young Long Beach rap artists get record deals, including the group 213, which featured Snoop Dogg. Its sign, proclaiming "Records, Cassettes and CDs" will likely stay up for at least another year, which is about as much time as Anderson gives the store to remain in business.
-- Sam Quinones
Photo: Kelvin Anderson, owner of VIP Records. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times