It was always my first passion and luckily I was fortunate enough to have had some success in my younger days as a DJ & producer for roughly 10-12 years. One of the foundations of East Coast underground hip hop was the legendary record store Fat Beats. Eventually they also opened a store in LA, but as it is with Hip Hop, it all began in NYC.
This was where everyone went to buy the latest vinyl & releases back in the day, myself no exception. Thursday nights I’d do my radio show in Boston then I’d head to South Station, get on the $20 Fung Wah bus and wake up Friday morning @ 42nd St. The first place I’d always hit up was Fat Beats. Bobbito’s Footwork, Rock & Soul, and a few others were also in line, but Fat Beats always took priority.
They had EVERYTHING. Rarities, breaks, the latest 12″s, bootlegs. Cassette copies of the Stretch & Bobbito Show, mixtapes ( when they were actual tapes), DMC DJ Battle videos, graff mags like 12oz Prophet, On The Go, t-shirts – you name it. Hip Hop mecca. Plus Ray’s Famous Pizzeria was downstairs. It was here I met many cool heads for the first time. Some that come to mind are KRS, The Beatnuts, Roc Raida (RIP), Percy P, The Arsonists, Godfather Don, Evil Dee, DJ Premier..some true memories of that store. It was a hip hop store run by people who participated in the culture. I try to reflect that same parallel in the import scene because it’s the most important principle. Only someone involved and committed a lifestyle or culture are the ones who are truly in tune with it’s pulse on every level. You see it in US import car culture as well in brands like JDM Ego or my dude Ben over @ Bulletproof. Like them, Fat Beats catered to a very specific audience and didn’t try to be something they were not. Maximum credibility!
Unfortunately with music culture changing over the years, they didn’t adjust to the times and had to close the doors last September. A hard lesson to learn.
Last week my good friend Wil Infamous posted an interesting link on his FB page. Fat Beats will be hosting a monthly warehouse gig in Brooklyn where they will also make the leftover inventory available to the public for retail. If you are a record collector or hip hop head on the East Coast, make your way there this Saturday March 5 , 2011 from 12-8pm. As an added bonus Madlib will be providing the sounds.
Looks like I’ll be making that Friday ride once again. As a fan who purchased there and an artist who performed at in-store events I’m proud to say they are back.
Check THIS for more info on FB BK!
Also if you like old school and golden era Hip Hop, check out my boy Wil Infamous’ podcast HERE