Where: Daly City, Calif.
Specializing in: DJ accessories, T-shirts, vinyl, in-stores/DJ battles

Pre-internet, you heard of record stores in one of three ways: in a magazine, via word of mouth, or in the Yellow Pages. Rap Pages magazine was my ear to the West Coast, so when I went to visit my pops out in San Jose in 1996, I hit up Cue's, a must for any serious hip-hop fan and DJ. Located in Daly City, Cue's carried the standard fare of records and DJ needs, but more importantly, it was a respected meeting ground and hangout for all who shared an interest in black wax.

The DJ battles were manic and routinely drew crowds, as did the in-stores. I still had my Boston Celtics green trademark Cue's "Keep Vinyl Alive" T-shirt from the '96 excursion up until about 5 years ago, when I lost it at the gym. Although I only went there once and left with just that T-shirt, the passion the patrons had for music in shops in the Bay Area was something I never saw back home. And the DJs out there were dead serious.