Kelvin Anderson purchased the World-Famous VIP Records in 1979 from his brother, igniting a black music revolution on the West Coast. At the peak of its success, VIP Records had 13 stores in and around Los Angeles.
It was the place to be for young, aspiring and talented artists from the local scene who were locked out from mainstream record labels, retail stores, and radio stations.
One such success story is that of the hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, who along with Warren G and the late Nate Dogg recorded a demo for their group 213 in the back of The World Famous VIP Record Store in Long Beach. This demo got into the hands of Dr. Dre who signed Snoop to a record deal. The rest is history.
“I wanted to give young people a safe place to go that is why I set up the studio in the back,” comments Kelvin Anderson
After Snoop had signed to Dr. Dre, he featured what would become the globally recognized World Famous VIP Records sign in his video, “What’s My Name.” Kelvin Anderson is at risk of losing this iconic sign and a legacy he built over the past 38 years. Over the past few years, Mr. Anderson has been forced to downsize VIP Records due to a changing music industry. He has also been self-funding the operation of the store to ensure VIP’s presence in the community. Mr. Anderson has also been presented with new terms to his lease that would strip him of his ownership of the World Famous VIP Records sign, preventing him from relocating or re-purposing the sign to save his legacy.
In an upcoming documentary, Snoop Dog talks about the importance of saving World Famous VIP Records and making it a haven for the community. The late actor and comedian Ricky Harris also talks about how he picked up his first mic at VIP.
Mr. Anderson has put a plan together to preserve VIP by building the World Famous VIP Record Black Music Museum and Creative Arts and Technology Center. The museum will be dedicated to the history of black music and the evolving technology of music. It will also house a creative arts and technology center for youth and young adults to continue to foster young talent in creative arts and technology.