I’m Thinking About Getting Rid Of My Physical Music Collection. Hold Me. » VSB

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I’m Thinking About Getting Rid Of My Physical Music Collection. Hold Me.

I own a lot of CDs. You remember those things, don’t you? After the cassette tape and before Apple changed the music game, CDs were what was hot on the streets. I still remember my first few purchases. After seeing the movie Juice, I talked my dad into buying me Cypress Hill’s debut album. Then came TLC’s Oooh…On The TLC Tip. I still have those CDs, some 20-plus years later.

That’s the problem. I still have all of my CDs. And I’m thinking about getting rid of them. All of them.

See, for the past five years, I’ve been travelling with unopened boxes of CDs. There was a point in time where I’d keep my CD’s on display. I had racks on racks on racks of them. And since I have possibly a couple thousand of them, they made quite the display. But then the world changed and all of music became digital and I got external hard drives and packed those full of music during the time when there were tons of sites that had old albums turned into .mp3 files. So when I moved into a new apartment in 2010, I left all of my CDs in the boxes I’d packed them into since they were going to take up unnecessary space. Never opened those boxes once and when I moved into my house I did the same. I stored them in a corner of a room in my house where they are right now.

In college, I went on a CD buying binge. Every week, me and one of my boys would hit up the Circuit City (RIP) at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta and buy four or five CDs at a time. Every week. They had lots of CDs on sale so we definitely bought a lot of trash, but it was my trash. I love music and the more music I purchased the happier I was. And that hasn’t changed. I still consume music at a remarkable clip, but the way in which I do so has changed. Which has led me to a realization…I do not need these boxes of CDs.

Eight years ago, that thought would never cross my mind. In fact, at one point in life, my CDs were probably my most prized possession. If you wanted to hurt me, you’d break one of them in front of me. Of course, I’d have to then kill you which would ultimately hurt you more than it would hurt me, but we’d both have pain. Tupac wrote a song about it, wanna hear it, here it go.

How many folks were PISSED that in order to get “Pain” you had to buy the Above The Rim cassette tape instead of the CD? Just me? Okay. Also, the Above The Rim Soundtrack is one of the best soundtracks of all time. Period.

At this point, my CDs are literally that box of shit I’ll never open up and don’t need. I’m literally only keeping them for nostalgia purposes. See, a part of me feels like since I tie so much of who I am into music that getting rid of any sort of music would be akin to heresy. Also, I spent a CONSIDERABLE amount of money on those little discs. But the truth is, I got whatever value I needed out of them years ago and they’re just discs. Inconvenient space holders of a corner of a room I could use to put up a fathead or something.

I called up one of my boys to ask him if he’d ever consider getting rid of his CDs. He pretty much said no. His reason leaned largely on the fact that physical CDs still allow you the ability to truly listen to an album and since current urban music seems to have eschewed the album format for a bunch of songs put together and called an album (with obvious notable exceptions like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly or D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, etc). Putting in a CD and listening to it straight through was a throwback to a time when albums were the order of the day.

While I appreciate this angle, I countered that you can do that without having a CD. You can create a playlist on any of your streaming music outlets of choice and do the same. I also contend that there is almost nothing that I have in CD format that I cannot find on either YouTube or Spotify, etc. All of the music I listen to is available elsewhere. In fact, there is only ONE CD I’d be hard pressed to part with and that is Tom Scott’s Honeysuckle Breeze, which contains the source music for Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “T.R.O.Y.”. And I’m only had pressed to part with it because I had that damn CD imported from Japan back when it was unavailable in the USA. Now it’s available everywhere.

I think the biggest impediment has also been…while I may have gotten the value out of 100 percent of those CDs many moons ago, they are still valuable to a degree. While nobody is viewing CDs like they do vinyl (I really don’t see CDs having some sort of retro vintage revival), they’re still worth something. Though to me at this point, the most valuable part of a CD is the insert which, of course, all of the information available there is available…

…on the Internet. Because technology. Though, I have a few CD inserts that are autographed. Lauryn Hill autographed her Miseducation album for me. As did the Goodie Mob with their Still Standing CD. I have other autographed albums littered about my collection.

I’ve always enjoyed having a significant music collection. It was one of those things people always noticed the first time they walked into my home because it was everywhere. Now? Not so much. Sure I have a record player in my living room, and it works, but its more decorative than anything. If I want to listen to something I fire up my mp3 devices. Which has led me towards the path of getting rid of my entire CD collection, a collection of music I built up since the early 90s through the late aughts that came to define my musical tastes and stand as a symbol of how fucking awesome I am.

And I might sell the whole damn thing. I feel some type of way about this. But I’ve also come to terms that the entire way I consume music has changed. Actually, I wouldn’t get rid of the whole thing, I’d keep certain CDs: the Kanye collections, Donny Hathaway, JayZ…anything that I have the entire catalog of…just so I #neverforget.

This is a major consideration for my life. But I think as I realistically think about it…those boxes of CDs would travel with me forever and only get opened 20 years from now when I’m trying to remember whats in those boxes at which point I might look at them with awe and wonderment and wonder why I never got rid of them since nobody’s seen a CD player in a decade. And even if I say no now, its probably more of a reaction to what I could get for it. Every man has a price.

I’m still on the fence. I mean this collection is my history. It’s my collection of who I was at different points in time. Man, I don’t know…its the questions.

So I wonder, have you ever considered parting ways with a collection of sorts? Music? Anything? What stopped your or what motivated you to do it?

 

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • miss t-lee

    I keep thinking I’m going to, but I can’t.
    I have milk crates in the closet with my cassettes, and now my CDs. I can’t bear to get rid of them, so there they will stay.

  • Just For Today

    The wife is pressing me to do the same with my CDs and movies, telling me they are all on Netflix/Itunes. She is in a “clear the (or my) junk out of our lives” phase these days. Two issues for me. First is the quality of the playback, especially the audio. Hate Netflix/MP3s for that one. Second is that there are times I want to hear or watch a specific thing and know where I can get it, especially if it is something Netflix did not carry it. Hate having to hunt for it online, depending on an internet connection, when I can just go to a shelf and get what I want. Or maybe PJ your have way more stuff than I do.

    • cakes_and_pies

      Netflix removes movies every month to bring in other titles. I have “Trading Spaces” on my list, but on that cold day they remove it, I’ll still have my physical copy.

  • Yes, my DVD collection. I built it for years which was somewhat ironic because I don’t like rewatching movies lol. Either way I got rid of it for the same/similar reasons as yours. It was getting ridiculous carting them around with me whenever I moved, which was a lot.

    It felt weird to let go of something that I built for so long…like I was losing a piece of myself but I came to terms with the fact that things had to change and I’m still me without the collection and while I won’t remember every film I ever owned in the grand scheme of things there are more important things in life…

    • Amazonian Midget

      I cannot bear to part with my DVDs. I have several that I haven’t watched in years (my collection has been growing since I was 14, I’m now 28), and that I know I won’t watch again…but it is like losing a part of myself…

      Maybe I’ll try to go through them when I move this summer, but probably not.

      • I hear you! That contrast between knowing I’m never going to watch any of them again and the sadness that would wash over me when I’d consider getting rid of it used to drive me crazy!!

        • Amazonian Midget

          I would rather someone steal them than get rid of them. The attachment is real. lol

          • LOL, now I’m imaging you putting out a Craigslist ad!

            • Amazonian Midget

              For Sale: Free DVDs. I will leave them on the corner, please pick them up. I cannot see this happen. My heart won’t take the pain.

              • “please make it seem like you stole them, it’s the only way I’ll be able to sleep tonight.”

      • MzzPeaches

        Me either. There is NO way I’m ever giving someone my copy of Love Jones that I had to dig for in that $5 bin at Wal-MArt sooo many years ago.

        • KB

          Love Jones was the first DVD movie I ever purchased and I still have to this day. I will NEVA relinquish such a masterpiece.

          • MzzPeaches

            EVA! Darius and Nina will forever live on my shelves. Add Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It.

        • Amazonian Midget

          Haha! I got a lot of movies that way. That, and the deals at Blockbuster. #RIP

          • MzzPeaches

            That’s how my bestfriend introduced me to “Who Made the Potato Salad?” That girl lived in Blockbuster and had a penchant for finding the most random azz straight to video Black films of the time.

            • miss t-lee

              That movie is/was so terrible.

              • MzzPeaches

                That’s the beauty of it lol. So terrible you have to watch it in order to tell someone else “Man lemme tell u bout this horrible azz…”

                • miss t-lee

                  I’m still legit p*ssed that my friends made me sit through that sh*t.

                  • MzzPeaches

                    lol I take it in stride, cause I’ve picked some movies that we went to see on opening weekend that were straight trash and they wanted to smack me afterwards

    • panamajackson

      I’ve also thought about this. I’m not sure I could part with my DVDs yet. I have a sizable collection of those as well and so many Black movies. Yeah. No. Can’t do it.

      • What about downsizing? I only kept the movies I thought I’d have difficulty finding online or what I’d want to watch if for some reason the internet wasn’t accessible to me for a prolonged time.

        • panamajackson

          Naw. I really like watching all of my movies. All of them even if i can find them online. Netflix be trippin at times.

  • Amazonian Midget

    I still have the stuffed CD case in the trunk of my car. I easily have a couple of hundred CDs, and while I uploaded them to my computer years ago, and have only been buying via iTunes since, I can’t bear to get rid of them.

    That, and my piles of leftover yarn skeins that I know will never become projects.

    I feel your pain.

  • MzzPeaches

    Nooo! Don’t do it! Reconsider! Read some literature on the subject-you sure?

    I still have my first cd (Foxy Brown’s Ill Na Na- gifted Christmas 96′) for nostalgia’s sake. I’ve got mixes from the 9th grade, cd’s from when I first discovered Bounce music in undergrad, road trip compilations, epic albums that I’d never part with (all of Outkast’s cd’s, if not simply for the nekkid ladies on each cd), my branch out phases (Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. & Kid Rock’s Devil Without a Cause).

    Even with everything being on Netflix I refuse to discard any of the dvd’s I’ve amassed over the years.

    I have memories attached to some of the most random things, so I have a hard time parting with stuff that has sentimental value.

    • panamajackson

      Yeah, I wouldnt let go of the Outkast CDs either.

      • KB

        In our college apartment my brother and I had all the outkast CDs arranged on the main wall in our living room above the entertainment center, surrounded by various magazine pics and articles featuring them. It was pretty clear who our favorite group was.

      • miss t-lee

        Bet not.

      • Brass Tacks

        I was just about to ask you how much it would take for you to come off your ‘Kast collection

    • Baemie St. Patrick

      someone borrowed my Little Brother cd (the first one I ever bought) and I want to buy it again just to have the physical copy, just because lol

      • MzzPeaches

        Go for it!

  • Mutsa

    My heart. No. Don’t. I got rid of a few cassettes in spring clean gone wile a few years back and I regret it already. I still buy CDS. I love the ritual of looking through the artwork, reading production credits, reading album the ‘thank you’ page….*sigh*. Don’t do it.

    • panamajackson

      See, I don’t do that at all anymore. I read about everything online. The physical aspect of it doesnt appeal to me as much since I’m not really buying CDs. I only buy to show support while I pretty much listen purely thru digital means.

      • Mutsa

        Oh.

        Get rid of them and keep your collections.

      • Val

        Cds don’t have much personality. I’ve started to collect vinyl, especially vintage vinyl. The album art, the liner notes are a wonderful experience. I still have some CDs but beyond my Ak CD collection I don’t have much of an emotional investment in them.

  • KB

    Kids today will never know the pleasure of going to cop a cd by your favorite artist(s) on the day it dropped. Something about that anticipation, standing in line to purchase, making said purchase and then breaking open that plastic shrink packaging and peeping the album’s artwork while reading through the cd liner notes was truly a great thing. Back in high school my boys and I would leave during lunch time to go cop the newest No Limit release, each and every Tuesday from Blockbuster music. Most of the albums were forgettable, but back then collecting No Limit (and later Cash Money) albums was definitely something that garnered respect. Cats would be in class trading cd booklets to look through to see who had what. Fun times.

    Also, “the Above The Rim Soundtrack is one of the best soundtracks of all time. Period.” ~ this is fact. I would also throw in the soundtrack to Dead Presidents

    • panamajackson

      In college, every Tuesday and Thursday we had to attend either New Student Orientation or Crown Forum. It was required. In order to get credit, you had to swipe your student ID on the way out. Quite a few Tuesdsays, somebody would be assigned to go pick up 7 or 8 copies of a certain new album (Cappadonna’s The Pillage album comes to mind) while somebody would swipe his card so he could get credit for being there.

      Those were good times. Really good times.

      • KB

        Freshman year of college my then gf’s dorm was right across the street from this place called ‘Fast Trax’ records. Feb of 2001 they remained open until after midnight to sale Project Pat’s ‘Mista Don’t Play’ album. Please believe I made a quick dash from her dorm room over there to cop that cd.

      • Brandon Allen

        Ahh the long held tradition of skipping crown forum…

        • panamajackson

          A true Morehouse tradition.

    • MzzPeaches

      I remember trying to devise a plan w/ my friends how we were going to get to the West End when (if I can remember correctly) Ice Cube was at Peppermint Music signing copies of The Players Club soundtrack. Our too young behinds never made it, but the excitement of plotting was enough for us lol

      • KB

        When Aquemini dropped I snuck out of the house late on a school night and met my boy up the street to purchase my copy and have it signed by Big Boi himself. You couldn’t tell me ish the next day as I walked through the halls proudly displaying my brand new, autographed Aquemini cd.

        • MzzPeaches

          PROPS!!!

      • She Who Reads

        I remember when Immature was going to be signing CDs at Spec’s, so we left school early, caught two buses, and faced pandemonium just for a glimpse of Batman, Romeo, and LDB. #Memories

        • MzzPeaches

          Loved Immature! Add to standing in line for concert tickets. Way before we knew anything of Ticketmaster online lol

          • She Who Reads

            Yesssss!!!!!!! I used to kind of enjoy the physical part of processes.

            • MzzPeaches

              Mmmhmm. Kept those concert tickets pinned up on the cork board in my room counting down the days till the show. Ahh memories

        • cakes_and_pies

          You got me all in my feelings now. https://youtu.be/LV8PZ8kcCr8

          • KB

            Hated Immature back in the day (7th grade jealousy bc my “gf” had a serious thing for them) but couldn’t lie, this song was dope.

    • miss t-lee

      I lived for Tuesdays. I remember leaving work on my lunch break to go get whatever I’d waited on to drop.
      Everyone else would be in line doing the same thing, had to make sure it sounded good in the ride too.

      Loved reading the liner notes, and then finding the original songs that were sampled. Ah, sweet nostalgia!

      • KB

        It enhanced the entire album listening experience. It connected you to the music that you had just purchased. You can’t get that with albums these days.

        • miss t-lee

          Yup.
          I still get hype for Tuesdays on Spotify, but it’s just not the same.

          • KB

            This was before the era of mixtapes, so having to wait months on end for an album to drop made us all better in the end. This era of instant gratification that we now live in is probably harming us in a way lol.

            • miss t-lee

              True, true.

      • Cleojonz

        OMG you took me back. I lived for reading the liner notes. I needed to know where those samples came from. I still take pause when I’m out and about in the world and I hear an old rock song or some jazz tune and catch the snippet I know somebody used.

        • miss t-lee

          Also!

          • Baemie St. Patrick

            the who sampled app is my life. it’s digging in the electronic crates.

            • cakes_and_pies

              I have discovered so much good music with that app.

            • miss t-lee

              I haven’t used the app. I’ve checked the site a few times for reference.

              • Baemie St. Patrick

                I never noticed how much I needed it until I was out with my music geek friends and we would discuss samples. We do it weekly. It’s like Wikipedia for samples. You can click one link and you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.

                • miss t-lee

                  Oh yeah…I can see that becoming an obsession, real quick.

      • YES to liner notes!!

        • miss t-lee

          AMEN

      • She Who Reads

        I loved reading the lyrics to an album on the inside. Now, I have to look up RapGenius. -______-

        • Meh to rap genius i dont need a virgin to explain a rap lyric to me

          • She Who Reads

            Not the explanation, just the lyrics. I don’t even much click on the hyperlinked lines.

        • miss t-lee

          Is OHHLA still around? That was my junk.

    • MysteryMeat

      Aw man you just took me back with the No Limit catalog. My friends and I would swap them joints like playing cards.

      • KB

        At a certain point No Limit was releasing an album every other week. It got to the point where you weren’t even buying it for the music, but simply to add to the collection. During the height of their success, I’d say late 1998, I had EVERY NL release dating back to 1995.

        • miss t-lee

          You ain’t lying…lol!
          P was dropping them albums like Jet magazine issues.

        • MysteryMeat

          I had a bunch of them too but i dont think MasterP got any of my money cause most of them were from the barber shop. Smh. Now I’m very anti bootleg/free download. Most of the time that is

    • She Who Reads

      I still open CDs a “certain” way that I learned in high school from a friend I don’t even talk to anymore. The way stayed, but the friend is gone. Go figure.

      • KB

        It happens more than we think. About 10 years ago I dated a chick who then worked in retail and she showed me the “retail way” of folding shirts, which I still do to this day.

        • Baemie St. Patrick

          If I see someone folding their shirts down the middle, I’ll take it and refold it for them. Working for Old Slavy for 7 yrs conditioned me.

    • Trill Mickelson

      Wale: “Tuesdays used to matter, now the only thing that happens is you, you, and you sayin ‘sh!t, I been had that,’ ‘sh!t I been heard that.'”

    • Val

      And they will never know the pleasure of browsing a music store and taking a chance on something becasue of the album art or even liner notes.

    • The 9-9…& the 2000

      Tuesdays were my struggle days. I worked at Blockbuster music in high school. Absolutely hated those candy colored No Limit jewel cases every week.

  • HeyBooHey

    I harbor stuff that trigger memories. I used to go dumb at any $10 sales or $5 bins so I have a TV stand full of CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes. Yes. VHS tapes. I have a DVD/VCR combo for this specific reason. Ask me the last time I’ve watched nary a DVD or VHS….but that don’t matter, it’s the principality of the situation. I can remember events from watching one of those DVDs or seeing any of the CD cases

    • panamajackson

      But don’t you think the music itself will hold as much of a memory as the physical copy that the music exists upon?

      • HeyBooHey

        It definitely does, but listening to the music while also holding a cracked physical cover or gently flipping through the album booklet that’s falling apart holds a special place in this heart o’ mine

    • She Who Reads

      I tossed my VCR tapes before I moved in 2011. Those, I do not miss. LOL.

    • still have a DVD player in my entertainment center that im not sure is even plugged in, i also have a stereo with a 5 CD changer that i got at a thrift shop for $10, old speakers still bang

      • HeyBooHey

        So….you’re tryna say I need to bring the best of my DVDs and CDs so I can hear these old speakers?? Plug in that DVD player Tristan, stop playin!

    • Lea Thrace

      daps on that DVD VCR combo. I have two. I aint ever getting rid of either the DVDs or VHS’ in my collection. Over my cold dead body!

      • HeyBooHey

        Swore my mom was trippin when she got it for me before I went to college. Best thing she ever did for me besides give me life smh

    • I only own a few DVDs now. I’ve never been a pop in a movie and watch it person. The Mrs has some but we don’t even have a player right now.

      • HeyBooHey

        I literally have movies on DVD that I’ll watch on TV whenever it comes on. And complain relentlessly about how it’s not the same viewing experience. But never budge to pop in the DVD

  • BoogieNYC

    I moved after living in one place for over ten years, and I sold 95% of my CD’s — and my CD collection numbered over 10,000 discs, including bootlegs and rarities. Other than those, I dumped most if not all of it. I figure that I have much of it in my iPod and my PC, so if I lost my PC and my iPod I could still rebuild everything, and other than the rare stuff (singles, promos, bootlegs, etc.) I can find everything out there. I also concur my discs are my personal history, but having them in a box in a corner doesn’t make them any more significant than having them on a folder on a data drive. And do I really need to see these folders for bands I can’t really even tolerate any more? The discs aren’t worth much except to us — for nostalgia purposes — but in truth, I’d still rather be rid of most of them just so they don’t take up space, collect dust and get in the way. Provided I’ve got enough space on my drive(s) I’m not worrying about how much space I’m taking up in the corner. Which is — sort of — fine by me.

    And while I used to have loads of vinyl, most if not all of mine is gone except for the one-off/rare stuff (again: bootlegs, colored Beatles discs — red/blue vinyl, etc.). It’s not like I even have a turntable anymore… ;-)

    • panamajackson

      That’s a lot of CDS. I have a lot. You had a store.

  • MysteryMeat

    DONT DO IT ICE COLD DONT DEW IT!!!

    Had about a thousand CD’s at one point in my life and now that I’ve gotten rid of them I miss them. Should have at least kept some classics. My dad has an extensive record collection and every time I visit him I get sad thinking about my collection of musicthat is now gone. (sniff sniff)

    • panamajackson

      See, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel that way. Those CDs served their purpose. I don’t go thru them or even display them. They’re just there.

      • MysteryMeat

        True dat. Well at LEAST keep the classics like you said. You may wax nostalgic one day and sit and play them. Or have a “back in my day, go in there and hand me that Biggie CD” moment to the chagrin of your kids lol

        or naw.

        But with technology the music will be available anyway. Suddenly I see your point. Still dont dew it ice cold. Dont dew it.

    • miss t-lee

      My Pops still has his vinyl collection too. That’s probably why I can’t part with my ish.

      • MzzPeaches

        I want to start one. I’ve always been in love with the vinyl sound, but I don’t even know where to start.

        • miss t-lee

          Definitely a much different sound. One of the things I miss from childhood, hearing that hiss on the records.

          • MzzPeaches

            That hiss n pop & the smell of cigar pipes make me think of my great grandadddy. He would sit n chain smoke, listening to 45’s while reading the paper.

            • miss t-lee

              LOL!
              It makes em think of my Mom, that’s what we did on Saturdays while cleaning the house. She’d pull out her LPs, and we’d all clean up listening to Otis, Bobby Blue, and Marvin.

              • MysteryMeat

                Haha there are certain records from the 80’s that when I hear them I instantly smell Pinesol and “Reefer” from my parents cleaning the house on Saturday mornings. One of my favorite memories. They would be downstairs JAMMIN!

                • MzzPeaches

                  Pinesol and Reefer! Ctfu. That’s quite a combo.

                  • MysteryMeat

                    They didn’t play.

                • cakes_and_pies

                  I Knew as soon as My Mom put on an Isley Brothers record on a Saturday I had to hit the bricks or be forced to clean with her.

                  • MysteryMeat

                    man listen as I got older I learned to grab my bike on the sneak and dart out the side door. If I didnt It was slave labor for at least 3 hours. smh

                  • KB

                    Oh so you had a choice on whether or not you would clean on Saturdays. Must be nice

                    • cakes_and_pies

                      I only had that choice maybe 5 times before she caught on.

                • miss t-lee

                  Funny how music can take you back, just like that!

                • I still clean my house to oldies….not sure if its nostalgia or brainwashing lol

                  • miss t-lee

                    In my case, both.

                  • MysteryMeat

                    lol combo of both.

                • *Adds “Pinesol” and “Reefer” to my list of fake band names.

      • MsSula

        Mine does too. And I expressly asked him NOT to toss them.

        • miss t-lee

          He’s definitely not parting with it.

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