It was 1993 and I was at Kmart on a Sunday night with my mom. I hated shopping with my mom and it was especially super uncool in the 8th grade. I mean I'm almost in high school and I was already uncool and awkward. I walked around the store in my oversized hip hop jeans and probably was sporting one of those oversized loony tune t-shirts that were so hip in my hood. Yeah you know you had one of those Bugs Bunny t-shirts where he's spinning a basketball and has his hat to the back.
I was eyeballing the music section looking at the cassette tapes with the huge big plastic housing around them. I bumped into a reddish tape that had a song I loved on the radio at the time. I especially loved watching the music video on its 3pm rotation on MTV. I had no money, and I had to get my begging routine down. I had to have this tape. This tape was like no other tape in my music collection. I never knew it would be this tape that would change my life. it would later define what kind of kid I would be in high school. The circles I gathered in, the clothes I would wear, and my attitude towards life. At least my attitude in high school.
I somehow got my mom to buy it. I watched the check out girl take the massive plastic security handle off and I immediately ripped the plastic off. I opened it up and the tape sleeve was super long. It had a picture of several arms held up together in a triangle.
I put the tape in my walkman and it blew me away. It started with this trancy song and then went right into drums a-blazing and a perfectly distorted guitar. I obsessively listened to that tape all the way to my first day of high school.
The day somebody talked to me in gym class and asked me that life changing question was the day I found my crew.
"Hey, do you listen to Pearl Jam?"