By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By the time the knife went into record exec Lance "Un" Rivera last week, bootleg copies of Jay-Z's latest CD, Vol. 3 The Life and Times of Shawn Carter, were all over the citysplayed out on those folding tables manned by guys hawking blankets full of goods all over Midtown. Jay-Z (a/k/a Shawn Carter) saw them there, officials say, which is why the rap star allegedly stabbed the record exec. Vol. 3 isn't even scheduled to hit stores until Dec 28. But the bootleg may reach AVENUE D before that.
Lieutenant Vincent Neefus of the Hempstead Village Police Department says there haven't been any sightings or arrests. But patron Milton Walla, who used to be a manager for a Long Island rapper, says, "Actually, people come here to sell stuff," adding that he'd been offered an R. Kelly double CD for $10. "The manager kicks them out."
Even those who are booted out have it pretty good. Avenue D is located in a strip mall, where there's some privacy and a whole lot of parking. And a trunk will hold more merchandise than a card table any day. Since this hip-hop club's patrons have to pass through the lot to get to the door, potential customers are aplenty. Besides, two similar clubs are just a few miles away.
But not everyone's up for a sale. Walla says he didn't buy the R. Kelly packageeven though it's a great bargainbecause the artist doesn't get credit. And he won't buy Vol. 3 out of a trunk, either.
He says he saw how the record companies operate when he managed the rapper Soldier of Truth. One well-known label, he says, offered him a contract with 2 percent of the sales, leaving Walla out completely. "It's a messed-up industry," he says. "It's dog-eat-dog."
AVENUE D628 Fulton Ave, Hempstead, 516-505-9277.