If you are a shopper at Amoeba Hollywood you know that you can usually tell who works there by the round and bright Amoeba Music stickers they wear on their shirts. But beyond that, on the surface, it is hard to tell who each Amoebite really is or what exactly their music expertise might be. Much like the average Amoeba shopper, the folks that work here are equally knowledgeable & passionate about music, and more often than not involved directly in music in some way or another.
A prime example is diehard hip-hopper Ervin Arana, whose rich background includes holding down a weekly DJ residency at Root Down, was a member for many years in the Rock Steady Crew -- the legendary b-boying crew and hip hop group that was established in the Boogie Down Bronx back in seventies.
A full time b-boy or "full time music enthusiast!," as he describes himself on his blogspot, Ervin (who is sometimes known as Servin Ervin) has been working at the SoCal store for about a year. He spreads his time between the hip-hop and soul sections and can also be found at the registers. I recently caught up with the hip-hop fanatic to talk about music and hip-hop and how he got initially got involved in the Rock Steady Crew (RSC). Originally a b-boy, he got noticed by members of the RSC about eight years ago, he told me, and they invited him to join the much respected organization. As a member he has participated in numerous RSC events in "different cities throughout the world including Moscow, Mexico City, and London." Sometimes he has performed and other times he has acted as a judge for competitions, such as on one RSC trip to Japan he took. He has also DJ'ed at many different RSC events. But Ervin is happiest, he says, when he is sharing his knowledge with others. "What I mostly like to do," he told me, "is to teach at workshops, b-boy workshops."