Rap Atlas: Oakland

Fantasy Studios

2600 10th St. (Berkeley)

Fantasy is real deep in music, period. From the ‘50s onward they functioned as a respected jazz label, with an enormous catalog of seminal recordings. They have Stax/Volt records, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Blackbyrds—far too many artists too mention. They moved to Berkeley in 1970. Currently they are the largest independent label in the country. A lot of stuff was recorded or mixed at their studios too, tracks like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” You go in there and it’s crazy gold and platinum records. They had a couple of subsidiary labels, like Galaxy. In the ‘80s, they had a hip-hop label called Reality. They also distributed Danya Records. They put out what’s probably the best hip-hop 12” of all time: “The Show” and “La-Di-Da-Di” by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, as well as Doug E.’s first two albums, Rockmaster Scott’s “The Roof is On Fire,” and Timex Social Club’s album. Too $hort’s Born to Mack, Life Is…Too Short, and Short Dog’s in the House albums were mixed there. DU’s first single, “Your Life’s A Cartoon,” was recorded there, too. That’s history.

Digital Underground - "Your Life's a Cartoon"

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