After catching a social post that Ella Records had gotten in a Taj Mahal record that I had been looking for for a while, I stopped over with the intention to just pop-in and pop-out with the one record. In the short matter of time that it took me to dig through the New Arrivals section to find it, there was an even faster whirlwind of a fellow gaijin that blazed in, rawking a felt beret, an oversized neckerchief that my bandana-discerning eye suspected might actually be some sorta middle eastern kufiyya, and a heavyweight long-sleeve t-shirt shirt that was, …ahem, respectfully speaking, as grimy as it was orange, with tattoos peeking out the rolled up sleeves. Having served several tours-of-service-industry-duty myself, and with my behind-the-counter-greasy-spoon-diner-rat credentials, I immediately recognized that grime as kitchen schmutz and this ensemble as “Line Chef Chic” but before I could piece together any more details of this beguiling character, within a single minute, he has already grabbed Digital Underground Sex Packets, a Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby record, and was at the counter checking out. I hurried up, found my Taj record, and got in line right behind him, hoping not to miss the chance to chat him up and make a photo.
With a warm smile and a flair of New York attitude, Jeremy Freeman introduced himself as Brooklyn transplant, Kingston regular, Tokyo local, former “Deadly Dragon Sound System” owner with DJ “Scratch Famous” alias, and now proprietor of “Freeman Shokudo”, a just-up-the-street-from-Ella, Japanese-Jewish-Soul-Food BBQ Smoke-pit, that I’ve since found out is a beloved establishment that cultivates community through good food, good music, good vibes, and good livin’.
Freeman Shokudo, though I have yet to eat there, looks to have some amazing offerings that fuse masterful BBQ, Soul Food soul, slow Jewish cuisine, a Japanese touch, craft beer, reggae music, and good people. The genius behind it, which I gathered from a rather long and excellent Sabukaru editorial about it (which I’ll link in the comments), is to do all the things you love and love all the things you do.
Thanks, Jeremy. Looking forward to meeting and eating!
Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby’s – In Dub Conference Volume One
Label: Moodisc Record – HM108
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Digital Underground – Sex Packets
Label: Tommy Boy – TBLP 1026
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre: Hip Hop
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