Maybe it's the hopping on and off planes or the constant drone of song requests but something about the DJ world can chew a mans passion for music up before a great majority of folks get their foot in the game. Want to be a DJ? It's 90 percent Radio Shack and U-Haul with a splash of librarian and a touch of talent. Not many are cut out for the long haul, but trust me when I say that Skeme Richards was built for this. He lives to travel, collect, and play records. The passion he exudes is palpable and with more years under his belt than most he's got every right to hand out cigars and wax about the past, choosing instead to have both feet firmly planted in the nitty gritty of this mess, holding the torch to guide the way and all whilst searching for the perfect hamburger. -THE BAG MESSENGER
THE BAG MESSENGER: When did you first get into collecting and at what point did records enter that picture for you?
SKEME RICHARDS: I would have to say unofficially I became a collector around the age of 6 which was during the beginnings of the Star Wars craze and until this day I still own every figure that I received as a kid. Records have always been in the picture for me starting with getting a Show n Tell Record Player and Viewer in 1970’s but as a young adult record became important in 1981 which is when I first started to DJ and was able to buy 12” on my own.
THE BAG MESSENGER: You collect a wide range of stuff, what are some of your favorite pieces?
SKEME RICHARDS: That’s always a tough question for me to answer because as a collector I only acquire things that I have a personal attachment to, things that I remember or have a connection to growing up, it’s all about quality over quantity. But as for favorites number 1 on the list would be my 1981 Stern Muhammad Ali pinball machine, out of 2917 made less than 50 are known to exist and only about 10 are mint (which includes mine). Any of my 1970’s GI Joe with Kung Fu Grip figures and definitely my vintage movie poster collection especially the Shaw Brothers Kung Fu posters and pictures collection. But I collect so much from old race tracks and train sets to vintage magazines.
THE BAG MESSENGER: How has nightlife evolved since you got in the game.
SKEME RICHARDS: Night life has made various transitions over the years, when I first started going out to parties / clubs in Philly to hear R&B, Hip Hop and Dance Classics it was primarily a Black audience going to Center City, then in the early 90's I started seeing more diversity in the crowds but we all shared the love of good music. No matter if it was "popular" music on the radio or underground hit's, good music was everywhere around us and the DJ's stressed playing good music, the club owners spent good money on amazing sound systems and wanted to hear it and they wanted people to dance to it because that’s what makes a party. Fast forward to the present and all that has changed, DJ's only care about their paycheck, club owners only care about how much they are making at the bar and the partygoers only cares about getting drunk. And to top it off the music has become more segregated similar to how it was with Hip Hop in the 80's where only "urban" people listened to it.
THE BAG MESSENGER: What's up with Hot Pea's and Butta? When did you guys start?
SKEME RICHARDS: Hot Peas & Butta officially started in 2008 and it was a way to present people with good Funk, Soul and Rare Grooves on 45 while showing rare footage to tie the whole night together which Supreme La Rock and myself have been doing with guest DJ's ever since. Once Elroy Jenkins our graphic designer got involved it took the visual aspect to another level and since then we've done gallery exhibitions, worked with the Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra, created comic books all in between traveling the globe doing parties in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, London, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and countless other places.
THE BAG MESSENGER: You're on the road a lot traveling sometimes for months at a time. What's the key to a well packed bag?
SKEME RICHARDS: It took me along time to figure it out but it really all comes to not only the flexibility of the bag and it's layout but also in how you fold and roll your items. Most people put socks in their shoes but I usually line the outsides with mine, bulky clothes should definitely be kept to a minimum while every corner and pocket should be utilized. I can use the same bag for a weekend getaway that I could use for a week long stay, but when it comes to being away for a month, less is definitely more for various reasons especially if you're a collector and planning on returning home with gems you've found along the way.
THE BAG MESSENGER: What's the oddest thing you've picked up on a trip and flown home with?
SKEME RICHARDS: I've come home with a lot of items from records and toys to sneakers and art which are usually concealed and packed well but the oddest thing would be two 1970's giant Shogun Warriors in the box. I didn't want to pay to ship them home which is what I normally do with large items so I tied a string around both boxes and carried them like a suitcase. If you know me then you know I keep my collecting habits somewhat quiet in public but I got a lot of strange looks and equally as many "hey what's that?" from people who wanted to hold hour long conversations which tends to drag out flights that are already long enough.
THE BAG MESSENGER: What are some of your favorite places to play?
SKEME RICHARDS: Some of my favorite places to play are those with not only a great sound system but those with a great vibe, a certain aesthetic and people who really appreciate the music. The Room (Japan), Club Asia (Japan), Madame Jo Jo's (London), Plan B (London), Lo-Fi (Seattle), Echo (Los Angeles), Le Lido (Switzerland), Bohannon Soul Club (Germany), Sound Holicity (Korea) and LPR (NYC) with special mention to Table 50 in NYC which doesn't exist anymore.
THE BAG MESSENGER: Best burger so far?
SKEME RICHARDS: I’ve had great burgers around the world but I have to say the most consistent with excellent quality of beef and great bun has to be Fathers Office in Los Angeles. I think it's the bacon jam spread that they use on it which makes it perfect and it never fails.
THE BAG MESSENGER:You've got a lot on your plate, how do you stay productive on the road?
SKEME RICHARDS: I'm always inspired by what I see when traveling especially when in Europe, everything from being in railway stations to art, fashion and people just riding bikes through the streets. All of these elements keep me mentally taking notes so once I get back to the hotel it straight to the computer to jot these things down but that then leads to coming up with ideas to build around those inspirations which leads to back and forth emails with Elroy Jenkins or Supreme La Rock and it steamrolls from there.
THE BAG MESSENGER: Favorite slept on flick?
SKEME RICHARDS: Favorite slept on flick I would have to say Seijun Suzuki's 1966 Tokyo Nagaremono (Tokyo Drifter). It's a Yakuza film with a great storyline, shot visually well with amazing scenery and it's definitely a starting point for where Quentin Tarantino draws inspiration from on a lot of his films.
THE BAG MESSENGER: Any last words of advice for the people?
SKEME RICHARDS: Do what you believe in and believe in what you do, if you're an artist live that passion to the fullest, compromise to get what you need or want but don't sacrifice your art nor creativity just to please the masses. Buy into quality not into quantity.
Keep up with Skeme on www.hotpeasandbutta.com and on twitter @hotpeasandbutta
Record bags made for DJs or record buying folks. DJ Backpacks and messenger bags meant for holding 7” records, 45's, LPs, 12" singles, and virtually any other vinyl record format you can think of.
DJs require a specific type of bag, and that’s why we make our bags to the specifications and needs of working class DJs. Large enough to hold all types of vinyl, and padded enough to provide peace of mind that your precious LPs will make it from one gig to the next, without a scratch. From our larger 45 bag, made to hold a large assortment of records, to our dj backpacks and dj messenger bags, that are able to hold records and other necessary items, like cables, and laptops, we’ve got all the needs of a working class DJ covered.
Let customers speak for us325 reviews
I received an older version of this bag 8 or so years ago as a gift from my wife, but the older models didn't have a moveable shoulder pad (it was shearling & sewn ONTO the strap in a fixed position) - it worked great when resting on my shoulder & slung under my arm, but slung around the shoulder & onto my back it was terribly uncomfortable. I saw they now offer the bags with moveable pads, so I messaged them asking if there was any way to get a replacement strap with a moveable shoulder pad (or return it to have it replaced). Case Bloom replied VERY quickly & advised me to send it in & they'd replace the strap to the updated version for free! Such a great bag & amazing company. You have a customer for life!
This is my second RM 45 bag. While I was extremely happy with the first, the team at Tucker & Bloom outdid themselves with the updates for the RM 2.5. The quality material and sturdiness of the bag is exceptional. I've gone to the other side of the world and seen this bag utilized by DJs and shop owners, showing the global reach. Those who know, truly know this is tested and designed by a world class working DJ. Can't wait for my next purchase. Thanks Tucker & Bloom!
I bought this bag for my husband who collects records and loves to buy them when he travels for business. It is very fine quality and made beautifully. He loves the orange lining against the black too!
My order was time sensitive and the company personally followed up with me to make sure it arrived on time.
All in all a great bag and a great experience!
I’d purchased other cookie cutter messenger bags,
some even with zippers but I never liked painted on labels and also totes have always felt flimsy and wanted to fall off of my shoulder. I searched for high quality crossbody messenger record bag and found my North to South! The only thing missing was the option to be able change out the strap if wanting to in the future. Thats okay! Tucker & Bloom it turned out offered custom requests so I inquired about having the option and they knocked it out of the park by adding in D rings and the appropriate clip in hardware which btw is high quality and was worth the extra wait time to get it in. The waxed canvas is super nice compared to others I’ve felt and the body strap is a cool option if needing to secure it to ones mid section and it’s not really visible while wearing the bag. I love the depth and the fact that it can hold well over 10 double LP’s not to forget a space for a laptop and plenty of other pockets inside, etc. I’m all but certain this bag will never need replacing if treating it well. If you choose this bag whether for vinyl or your day to day, you’ll be very pleased.
This bag is beautifully crafted and roomy. It is built to hold a lot of records and has a gorgeous surprise lining! It's the ultimate combination of functionality and style. My husband absolutely loves it. Tucker & Bloom is a great family owned company with personal follow through all the way to delivery. We couldn't be happier with the purchase and will definitely look to them again when ordering bags.