Photo by Tromaine Ellis.
A sign that took decades to become one of Long Beach’s most iconic and historically significant landmarks was taken down early Thursday in less than six hours.
The World-Famous VIP Records store, located at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, is widely considered as the birthplace of G-Funk, Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg, helping shape hip hop in Long Beach. In December, the Long Beach City Council recognized the store’s sign and its historical significance and approved its allocation as a historical landmark in the city.
At about 1:00AM today, and lasting until about 5:30AM, crew members of a local business took apart the sign that will be stored until a permanent home is found. Shirin Senegal, president of VIP Records, said the group has leased a property a few blocks north of PCH on Long Beach Boulevard where they hope to open a business incubator, multimedia center and creative arts center.
Senegal was there during the sign’s removal, a bittersweet moment after many months of fighting to keep the sign at its original location that ultimately failed.
“It was an emotional time but we know that great things are on the horizon,” Senegal told the Post.
In recent weeks, VIP Records has had both locals and civic leaders visit the historic landmark to take photos with the sign. Long Beach-based rapper Daz Dillinger even stopped by yesterday to visit the sign before it came down. Many took to social media to express their sentiments upon seeing photos of the sign being removed posted to the VIP Records Facebook page.