All City Jam - Dublin, 2009 c/o Gwame
Amoeblog: How did the concept for your store come about and what is the history of it, for those who may know nothing of All City here in the heart of Dublin, Ireland's capital?O.B: It just stems from the four elements thing really. It may seem a little dated, played out or even irrelevant to some now -- and perhaps it is -- but there was a time when hip-hop was more than rap, it was a cultural thing and the ethos of hip hop is still very important to us here. Ireland is a small country and we're kind of behind the times! So I guess we are still living in the 80s and what with the recession and doom and gloom, plus the revival of 80s electro, boogie, funk, not to mention fashion sense, it certainly seems like the 80s are back!!
Amoeblog: Having hip-hop records/CDs + graffiti supplies in the same place is the perfect match -- yet there are no others in Ireland who do it, correct? Are there other stores like yours overseas that you know of?
O.B: Right, well we cover Ireland. Like I say, it's a small country. It's not easy for us to stay afloat, so in all reality there wouldn't be much room for competition. Anyone who sets up a record shop now is insane. Overseas there is a great place in LA -- 33Third, which is a carbon copy of us (though we have been around longer!!). Me and Splyce [All City co-owner] were there in 2006 -- it was quite surreal walking into the place. We got a wierd deja vu vibe.
Amoeblog: I would imagine that specializing in vinyl with music and art supplies -- both of which can't be digitally duplicated for free -- must have ensured your longevity as a business. Has it?
O.B: Mmm, it's tough to say. We started out in a pre broadband world. Don't forget, this downloading business is hella new! Taken in context it is a millisecond -- under a decade. If you take that in a historical context, 10 years is nothing, so no one knows how this will pan out. The internet is like the Wild West at the moment but I have no doubt that that will be curtailed. One thing it has hit is CDs -- mixtapes and such -- and magazines, which kids now just don't see the point of buying. In under 5 years we have gone from selling tons of mags and mix CDs to almost none. If you talk to distributors they will tell you that is the same everywhere.