Shopping the day after Thanksgiving doesn't necessarily mean hitting Walmart at 3 a.m.
The smarter play is to sleep a little later, head to your favorite brick-and-mortar music retailer—provided there still is one in your area—and immerse yourself in the nerdy madness that is Record Store Day Black Friday. As in past years, there are all kinds of limited-edition vinyl releases hitting the shelves, and what follows are the five we've got our eyes on. Step between us and any of these records, and you risk getting smacked.
"Beat Bop," Rammelzee V. K-Rob, 12" Vinyl
Truly a "holy grail" of hip-hop, the original pressing of this 1983 single came out on hyper-influential visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat's short-lived Tartown Records imprint. Only 500 were pressed, and they boasted a jacket designed by Basquiat himself. Unlike earlier reissues, this one features the original sleeve art, as well as liner notes compiled by historian Andrew "Noz" Nosnitsky. Also, the music: a 10-minute rap track many see as pivotal in the genre's evolution.
1981-1982, New Order, 12" Vinyl
Factory Records nerds know this is as "Factus 8," or "1981-Factus 8-1982," but for the uninitiated, here's the gist: This five-track EP marks the beginning of New Order's transition from the moody post-punk of Joy Division—the group they grew out of following the suicide of singer Ian Curtis—to the perkier, more electronic sounds that would make them icons. All five songs were remastered this year, and the cover art is itself worth owning.
"Player's Ball," Outkast, 10" Vinyl
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Outkast's debut, Sony Legacy serves up not one, but two versions—"dirty" and "extended"—of the ace single "Player's Ball." This lovely slab of green translucent vinyl also features "Ain't No Thang" and "Crumblin' Erb," two other choice cuts from Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.
"C.R.E.A.M.," Wu-Tang Clan, 10" Picture Disc Speaking of killer hip-hop reissues from Sony, this one features two essential Wu-Tang tracks on a die-cut piece of vinyl shaped like the Staten Island crew's "W" logo. On side A, it's "C.R.E.A.M.," easily one of the greatest hip-hop tracks of all time. On the flip: "Mystery of Chessboxin'." If there's only one copy left on the rack, and another shopper makes a move, you best come correct with the right kung-fu style.
Age Ain't Nothing But A Number, Aaliyah, 12" White Vinyl
When people discuss the genius of Aaliyah, they generally aren't talking about her debut, which turned 20 earlier this year. The singer didn't really come into her own until 1996's One In a Million, produced by Timbaland and Missy Elliott, but even on these early tracks—written and produced by R. Kelly, to whom she was briefly married—she exuded a mysterious sensuality that made her more than just another pretty girl singing poppy R&B.