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The Sound Library

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

165 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002 40.721171 -73.988688
nr. Stanton St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-460-4800 Send to Phone

  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
  • Price Range: ($$) Mid-Range
  • Type: Specialty Shop
  • Products & Services: CDs/Records

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Nearby Subway Stops

F at Second Ave.

Payment Methods

American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Product Guide


  • CDs/Records


This venue is closed.

Situated on a scraggly strip of Orchard Street where budget leather outfitters alternate with domino halls, this record store’s drab stairwell and graffiti-decked façade contrast with the orderly, expertly curated stock within. Inside, simple white walls and hardwood floors keep the focus on the covetable titles themselves, from autographed LPs near the entrance (Hank Shocklee on Fear of A Black Planet, Q-Tip on the “Scenario” single) to classic hip-hop records (Supreme Clientele, Paul’s Boutique, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick). Throwback promo glossies from De La Soul and Big Daddy Kane plastered on the back wall provide eye candy for rap nerds stuck in time. The store’s 12,000-plus-strong collection features essential hip-hop standbys—reissues, nineties staples, and the cream of today’s crop, like Black Milk, Madlib, MF Doom, and Marco Polo—as well as well-edited sections of soundtracks, soul, jazz, and reggae. Although the shop is frequented by serious collectors, even browsers can appreciate some of the dated album art, like the animated image of a brawny, gun-toting Clint Eastwood on the Gauntlet soundtrack from the seventies.