UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s | Everything Is Purple: Celebrating The “Purple Tape”
It’s one of the most revered pieces in hip-hop history — both literally and figuratively. When listing off items that deserve to be enshrined in the ultimate hip-hop museum, Flavor Flav’s clock, Jam Master Jay’s fat gold rope chains, and a copy of Raekwon‘s Purple Tape are amongst the essential artifacts.
The Purple Tape is, of course, that legendary colored cassette which circulated in 1995 and is an integral element of The Chef’s legacy. It’s also the more popular term within hip-hop circles for Rae’s classic debut album, officially known as Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…. Even with the demise of the cassette format, it’s still one of the most sought after tapes by rap memorabilists. (A copy of the OG cassette is now up on ebay for $260.00)
In this clip, Rae describes how the idea to make the cassette the color purple was influenced by the crack game. How back in the day, during his hustling days, it was customary for dealers to identify their product by using colored vial tops. In one of the most genius marketing moves the rap game has seen, Rae decided to adopt this same method for his debut release.
For the 17th year anniversary of the Purple Tape‘s release, we decided to pay tribute, the Up North Trips way. So we put together a dope mix of some of our favorite grape-tinted cuts for your listening pleasure.
“Now let’s get purple like Grimace or Barney…”