Although the original 80s boombox phenomenon died long ago, the instant-party-anywhere revolution it sparked has just become more and more popular and Bluetooth-y. Cassette mixtapes and (so many) D batteries, anyone?
It might be hard to grasp nowadays a world before smartphones, Spotify and Bluetooth speakers - even for those who lived through it. But there was a time were listening to your favorite music meant being physically chained to an electrical outlet.
But then came the bold and beautiful boombox. The hard, square-edged metal casing, huge speakers guarded by metal grilles and lots of bulky knobs and buttons. And at the heart of every boombox, the cassette deck. And at the back, room for oh so many D batteries. And it was heavy, too. The bigger ones were only for the strongest and most dedicated to their music. But status often came with a sore back.
You could take it to the streets, and wherever you took it, you had an instant party. In the onset of truly portable and personal soundscapes, the boombox was more of a communal experience, with each mixtape an assertion of your true musical essence that you shared with friends (and strangers) on the streets, beaches or packed subway cars.
Today boomboxes, aka ghetto blasters, aka Brixton briefcases, are objects of cult. For those who witnessed the phenomenon and even for those who have but a faint idea of what the object printed in his 'street' brand shirt stands for.
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