Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Aymann Ismail—
Like every other city, New York has seen most of its record stores close up shop in recent years. But, even as dancehall and reggae have seen some of the sharpest declines in sales, an overwhelming number of NYC’s remaining record shops are those specializing in Jamaican music. These include decades-old standbys Moodies Records in the Bronx and Keeling Reggae in Brooklyn, and more recent arrivals like Deadly Dragon and Miss Lily’s Variety. Something about the music’s deep roots and the sense of community between the shoppers and shopkeepers has helped them survive in an era where shops specializing in rock, jazz and rap largely have not.