Walking into World of Music is like walking into a hip-hop safe haven.
Candles are lit all around the store, giving off a sweet smelling scent. This is completely contradictory to the loud rap music blasting through the speakers, but somehow it creates a welcoming atmosphere.
A customer leans on the glass cases that are filled with rare oils, sprays, jewelry and collectible items trying to barter for a set of speakers. T-shirts, posters, magazines, books, albums and videos adorn the store.
Kevin Owens, known as “K-Luv” to the community, is the original owner of the store and has been in business for 16 years. His name comes from “God saving me. I am 17 years’ clean from drug and alcohol abuse.”
He knows every customer’s name; many of them are regulars. He greets them as if they are members of his own family. There is a clear sense of loyalty here.
“There is something in our store for everyone,” Owens says, proudly looking around the store. “Every hip-hop enthusiast. Lover of good literature. Or just a positive environment with good entertainment. We pride ourselves on that.”
Owens moved to World of Music, 4712 S. Salina St., in early November. The inside has been renovated and redecorated to create a more welcoming shopping environment for customers. Owens said he figures if there is something for everyone, then the customers will always return. In the coming years, he expects the store to be the same family- and community-oriented place it has always been.
“You can’t keep what you have unless you give some of it up,” Owens says. “That’s what I did. I made a lot of sacrifices and put my whole heart into this business. I let people into my personal world, which rarely happens.”
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