People,Places and Things:Rich Medina

Special to Informer | 3/26/2012, 12:09 p.m.

Washington Informer: You've been doing Jump N Funk for over 10 years. Are you surprised that it's gotten so big?

Rich Medina: You know, I feel like, as a product of hip-hop culture and watching how the mainstream embraced hip-hop and washed some of the rougher edges off of it and made it palatable for the rest of the world. At this point, no it doesn't surprise me. You know a larger surprise for me came when the real Nigerian cats who were studying Yoruba and were wearing Nigerian garb who, initially looked down on me like, who is this Yankee? Who is this Yankee think he is to be playing our music? For them to realize that I'm actually being a humble student and I don't think that I have all of the answers. For them to turn around and begin to endorse me has been the biggest surprise for me.

Washington Informer: I recently read that you have 30,000 records in your collection. Are we going see you on an episode of Hoarders at any time soon?

Rich Medina: [Laughs] Let's make it all the way one hundred. I got 30,000 in my house. I got another 10 to 20 (thousand) floating around between my momma's house and other relatives' houses but no, my record collection will not be on episode of Hoarders because as much as there's a gigantic abundance of records in my collection, my record collection is active. These are not things that I am holding on to and hording per se. These are things that are part of my fabric as an artist. They are part of my fabric as a creator. They are part of what makes me who I am and every single day that I am actually physically in my house I am putting hands on my tools. So there's definitely an abundance but it's like being a librarian to a degree. You know you're kinda the gate keeper to all this history that you got up on these walls and I try my best to treat it that way and stay as active with my collection as I possibly can. Despite the information age and technology and being able to go DJ a party with no records at all. I still bring them with me.

Washington Informer: So you still do gigs where you just use vinyl?

Rich Medina: I still do gigs where I use just vinyl. I still do gigs where I bring my computer and vinyl. I try to approach it like mixed martial arts, you know?

I'm not gonna give up my boxing just because I picked up jiu-jitsu. I'm not gonna give up my jiu-jitsu just because I picked up muay thai. The combination of those things makes me a more dangerous fighter. So I always have records with me, no matter what. I always, without fail, every single gig that I go to, I have vinyl with me.

Washington Informer: Traveling with vinyl has to be difficult.