If you weren't looking for Cue Records, you would miss it. A block away from South Street's hysteria, the store's crumbling, dull blue fa‡ade attracts little attention. But if you were to ask any music lover in Philadelphia where to find rare vinyl, he would surely send you to this address.

Be it house, drum and bass, or specialty grooves, Cue has what other stores don't -- so the customers are always an eclectic group. Yet this bi-level shop's most consistent clients are rap fanatics. This is because Cue boasts the city's finest selection of underground hip hop records -- crate after crate of hard-to-find gems.

If you're having trouble finding what you're looking for, there are knowledgeable employees representing every type of music. Many on staff, however, are members of the Ill Vibe Collective, a group of local hip hop DJs. They may know more about hip hop than you do, but they're not intimidating. Plus, they'll let you listen to anything you'd like -- just make sure to follow their instructions (or you'll get slapped around like you're somebody's stepchild).

In addition to sprawling selections of wax, Cue also stocks a variety of turntables, needles, mixers, headphones, record crates, street wear and just about everything else essential to DJs and wannabes. The staff is certified to do repairs, too.

And if you're looking for something to do at night, don't forget to check out the flyers at the front. Here you will be sure to find information about the best DJ nights in town.


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