Back in 2011 True went up in flames. The two-alarm fire claimed the shop itself, a lot of merchandise, as well as a lot of memories. Out of the ash and rubble, a few of those memories survived.
There might have been another Ghostface polaroid back then. Maybe it melted away, maybe it got damaged by the firemen making their way through. Regardless, Ghost stopped by just before releasing his fifth studio album Fishscale. Not only was it met with critical acclaim, but it became his most successful album to date. I say that to say, he came to the shop very much on the humble. Surprisingly down to earth, he even previewed the album for a crowd of only 50 people over at Milk Bar that night, a chunk of them just folks that work in the Haight. Sitting on a bar stool, he went track by track, sometimes rapping, sometimes explaining. There’s a certain magic to the Haight and how events unfold within it and this is one instance. The characters and events both big and small seem to coexist.
Since it opened in ’96, the shop and Hip Hop have had a close and thorough relationship with one another. This is a beacon of small business in SF and somehow someway it survived a lot, including both a gutting of everything we know and associate with the city as well as the literal elements. In dedication to this idea of small business, perseverance, and lasting memories, I’ve got 42 polaroids in the chamber and 42 stories attached to them. Stay tuned for more surprises.
Shoutouts to Josh for the story!