Morning Coffee

One of the great feelings of the pre-internet was the method through which music was delivered. You might catch something on the radio, or on mixtape, or on video jukebox, and then you'd go blab to your friends about it. But you might not actually hear the joint for days, weeks, and an extreme case months. 


Still it was nothing like getting that call on your non-cordless phone and trying to imagine the thing that had your friends going. You might even get lucky and catch them with the song playing. Then they'd hold the receiver up to the boombox and you'd catch what you could. We didn't much care about sound quality. I can't tell you how desperate we were. Nothing else mattered.

That was how I came to this joint. I remember my man humming the piano riff. I had to hear it. I don't think I saw the video until a year later. (No cable.) Still even today, you can catch me wandering down Amsterdam mumbling, "Spinderalla, my DJ's, a turntable trooper\My partner Peppa, she's a power-booster."


Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In