Boombox / Ghetto Blaster

1980's Boom Box Ghetto Blaster

The Boombox, also known as the Ghetto Blaster, jambox, boomblaster, and even the Brixton briefcase, was basically a portable cassette player with at least two loudspeakers.  The boombox was first introduced by Japanese companies in the early 1970's, but it wasn't until the mid-1970's that they began showing up in the USA.  By the 1980's, boombox manufacturers took heed of the wants of consumers, and larger and louder boomboxes began hitting store shelves.  At its essence, the boombox consisted of two speakers, a tape player, an AM/FM receiver, and a compartment that held every D battery you could find in the junk drawer (of course you could plug them in as well).  As the 80's rolled on, the Boombox became more and more sophisticated, featuring more speakers, equalizers, and even cool LED lights.

The Boombox was most often associated with urban society, break dancing, and hip-hop music, which is why they earned the nickname "ghetto blaster".  Groups like the Beastie Boys and the Clash fueled the craze by embracing the device.  LL Cool J even had a 1985 tribute song to the boombox, titled "I Can't Live Without My Radio".  The boombox was also featured in popular movies of the 80's, such as Fame, Flashdance, Breakin', the Last Dragon, Say Anything, and many more.