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The Bitch recently had the honor of interviewing Hinsul Lazo, the 48-year-old native of Pinar del Río, Cuba, and owner of Museo del Disco, an insurgent CD and DVD store occupying a West Miami-Dade warehouse.
The Bitch: Um, so you've called me a bunch of times trying to get me to write about your place, but I think it would just be easier if you manifesto about it yourself, okay? So what's the deal?
Hinsul Lazo: Okay, Museo del Disco is a concept store. It's a very unique store. It's located at 1301 SW 70th Ave. It caters to an adult crowd. It doesn't really cater to kids. It caters to music people. People who love music. When you walk into my store, you can find from jazz to R&B, from the Sixties and Seventies and Eighties to today's music. The only thing you're not going to find in my store is hip-hop and rap. I don't cater to that crowd. So what I'm trying to do is make this city aware of a music store you can drive to and there's a piece for everybody. Whether it's jazz, whether it's R&B, whether it's pop from James Taylor to whomever. I mean it could be Bobby Darin. It could be Frank Sinatra. It could be whoever you want. You're going to find it. That's the idea.
But nobody knows about it. The only stores that get published are Virgin, Specs, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Circuit City, Borders. That's where people think you can go to find music. The people who go to buy music think there's no other outlets to music. And there is a tremendous store. It's 10,000 square feet of music and DVDs. It's in a warehouse district and it's a gorgeous store. It's a beautiful store. It's like no other store in this city. Not because it's my store. But that's the word from all the customers. They walk in and they're amazed it's so neat and we're so organized. It's a warehouse but it's decorated like it was a dollhouse. It's beautiful inside. Color-coordinated red and white. The furniture's red, the walls are white. The light boxes around the entire store are red. It's got pictures of all the old records, the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
So what my moan is, or what my concern is: I'm trying to take it to the next level. But unfortunately I need publicity. You know, I need some kind of a writeup, some kind of story, some kind of little push.
Um, have you tried advertising?
You did? That isn't doing it?
No. Not for the Anglo. Remember, I'm trying to bring in the American. I've got Latinos coming in to buy American product. But where's all the Americans? Where do you go to buy music when you buy CDs? Where do you go?
Just give me a name.
Well, I normally just download stuff from the Internet and burn my own CDs.
See? What kind of music do you like?
All kinds of music. Shoegazer, electronica, industrial, hip-hop, mostly.
All kinds. What if you were looking for a Miles Davis CD or a John Coltrane or a Billie Holiday, some great CD? There's only two ways to find them. Either online, because that's where people go because they don't think any store's going to have them. Or you can go to my store. And you'll find it in my store. Because that's what it's about. My store's a music store. We special-order things for people. It's the old style. And by the way, nothing in my store is bootlegged or burned or counterfeit. It's all original product.
Um, okay. When did you open?
Four years ago.
So you don't have any kind of hip-hop?
So how do you decide that 50 Cent and Tupac ...
It's too big of a record. You know what I'm saying? If it's that big, big, big of a record, we're forced to buy the kids -- the parents walk in with some of their kids. And in order to keep them in peace so they cannot be bored, we have four or five of the latest, of the top.
What about Snoop? Snoop Dogg.
Maybe one or two titles. But no. I mean we do, but we don't. If you understand what I'm saying. We do have some rap, but it's very minimal. We don't carry every Snoop Dogg CD he's released. We might have the latest one and after three weeks we get rid of it and it's on to the next. Because rap records don't linger. They don't stay as catalogues. I had a lady walk in today to my store, she walked in and she said, "Do you have Al Green?" I said, "Which one do you want?" She went nuts. She took two.
And this was a Latin lady, it wasn't an American woman. She spoke decent English, but with an accent. But she wanted Al Green.
No. No, we don't carry Dr. Dre.