Fat Beats Memories: Repping Behind The Counter
Friday August 20th 2010,
Filed under: Def Dames,Fat Beats Memories,Guest Drops,Not Your Average
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Photo: Alexander Richter

Welcome new contributor Max Angeles to the team. I don’t know much about her other than the fact that she fux with ‘Anchorman’, Tragedy records and almost died of alcohol poisoning last week. Sounds like a born Unkut Dot Com trooper…

Let me just say a few things about working at the Fat Beats store – I remember interning for them as early as when they had moved out the second floor of XTRA LARGE and into a well established hip hop institution on Melrose in LA.

Fat Beats LA had a much more rustic, garage studio feel to it. With limited edition posters of albums and artists plastered on every corner prompting all kinds of tourists to just whip out their cameras and take mad pictures. That shit was always annoying to me. We tagged our labels and arranged EP’s and LP’s our own way. regulars and real hip hop heads knew how to navigate throughout the store. If you saw a RZA single, you’d most likely find 4th Disciple in its vicinity. That’s how it worked. The ones who didn’t get it, were usually the ones that didn’t know who House Shoes, Rhettmatic, or DJ Soup was.

I remember meeting DJs, whose mixtapes I downloaded on the regular, in person. Most of them were dicks. DJ Warrior in particular. But this isn’t about my personal opinions, it’s about Fat Beats. And it really was like everybody says it is… “The Hip Hop Cheers”, a place you can go and everybody knows your name. Kids hung out and spun on the turntables a few times. Some were even lucky enough to get quick lessons from Rhett or HouseShoes, not realizing the significance of being taught anything on the tables by these legendary DJs.

I always showed some kind of disdain for people who came in and didn’t acknowledge the people working there the way they ought to. “What the fuck are you even doing here if all you know about House Shoes, is that he’s ringing your Lil Wayne album up? Go to Best Buy.” Little did I know, that that type of attitude would eventually bring the record store to its demise. We needed those sales. Even if they didn’t know anything about hip hop outside mainstream radio.

Same thing about Fat Beats NY. The people who work in these stores are Fat Beats FAMILY. Not random employees. I don’t think most people understand that. If you came by the store, you actually met the actual pioneers and the faces behind the movement. DJ Eclipse, I don’t know how to get over the fact that I won’t be able to see you anytime I want. Lord Sear, where you gon polly at now? The closing of these shops really is a pivotal moment in hip hop. Whether you’re a producer, artist, or fan, If you love hip hop, you’ve been in Fat Beats. That’s it. No argument.

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14 Comments so far
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shit does this mean Fat Beats NY is closing? I didn’t know that…I am from Rome and there has been a point in my life when I wanted to go to NY EXCLUSIVELY to visit the store, and I actually did more than once…I have memories that breathe Hip-Hop and always been treated like family even though I may have looked just like any other tourist…I guess I earned my props when I stepped to the counter with singles of Street Smartz, Reservoir Doggz, Rawcotiks and Shorty Long…Peace Fat Beats you will be missed.

Comment by ceedub 08.20.10 @

yo I think I met her before, she’s hot.

Comment by DomP 08.20.10 @

Waitaminute … you mean you can’t be a fukkin dick to customers and run a successful shop?

Fuk outta here with your bullshit attitude. Post right here is why Fat Beast is outta biz.

Comment by sunny 08.20.10 @

Sunny, you’re trippin. You go to Fat Beats for the HIPHOP, period! Who cares how anyone acts, I know I don’t. And if you’re into Hiphop, you’d know who the fuck people were and you definitely wouldn’t be buying some Lil “faggit” Wayne TRASH!! Can’t wait to visit Fat Beats in LA one last time when I’m down there over Labor Day weekend…

Comment by Shaun D. aka Wicked 08.20.10 @

first of all sunny, fat BEATS not BEAST is closing shops, not business. and for entirely different reasons. nobody buyin vinyl anymore. so shut yo ass up.

Comment by Jah Burial 08.20.10 @

It’s funny how huge Hiphop is all over the world and how all these people claim to love Hiphop to the fullest and blah blah, but the reality is that most are frontin ass muthafuckas. If people truly loved Hiphop like they claim, vinyl would not be dying. I been buyin vinyl since ’89 and just cuz mp3’s became the thing over the last 8 years or so, it didn’t mean I needed to change anything. Fuck mp3’s! To this day I still buy all the newest (real) Hiphop vinyl releases. People can cite financial reasons for why it became hard to keep up, but how many of those same people drive expensive cars and wear expensive clothes and maybe even got the bling? Exactly. They just the ones frontin like Hiphop really means somethin, but in reality, it’s everything else that actually means somethin to them. It’s most so-called Hiphop “fans” who are the reason why vinyl is dying and why places like Fat Beats are closing. I’ve never stopped doing my part, why did you?????????

Comment by Shaun D. aka Wicked 08.20.10 @


Serato is a gift and a curse.

Comment by kidgrebo 08.21.10 @

Fat Beats LA was always wack to me. The one in NY was cool up until about 5 years ago, it just look like no one cared anymore.
I miss when it was in the basement on East 9th St.

Comment by keatso 08.22.10 @

@Shaun D. aka Wicked
I agree 1000%
I think hip hop has gotten so accepted into pop culture, that the original elements are not even required to be considered “hip hop”!
Rap is just another hustle now and staying true cost $!
nobody REALLY respects rappers, EMCEES or DJs! the value of the art is gone, most just see the money you can make!
Hip hop has spread so far and wide that the true essence got lost somewhere…
Everybody feels entitled to treat hip hop how they want to and dont feel as if they HAVE TO respect the forefathers, elements or none of that shit to get paid!
They dont HAVE TO care!
No dj HAS TO spin vinyl anymore to be considered “hip hop” so they dont spin or cop vinyl, they cop serato and mad mp3s!
its easier and cost effective for them! And the industry doesnt help, so they market the mp3/ringtone shit and that replaces tape vinyl and CDs completely.
maybe going back to nothing could spark a new era…never know…
RIP fatbeats

Comment by QUNYC 08.24.10 @

That makes me geel mad old. Used to go there alot and also bobbitos footwork. I can’t believe its actually closing. I guess I thought it would just always be there. They outlasted Tower records and the virgin mega on 14th. Its fucking sad. Mad memories yo. RIP. Thanks for paying homage unkut.

Comment by OWM 08.25.10 @

Footwork was ill, if I recall they had one in Philly too. Speaking of which-a Bobbito interview would be cool.

Comment by keatso 08.25.10 @

Footwork was the og Fat Beats…..high school shit.

Comment by mercilesz 08.25.10 @

“a Bobbito interview would be cool”


Comment by dj blendz 08.26.10 @

I used to go to the Fat Beats out in L.A. That place was pretty dope. I liked going there cause the ‘heads that worked there knew what was new and good. The thing about going to indie record stores is you always get a unique perspective about someone you’ve never heard of before. I guess I’ll have to go out to Amoeba from now on out in Hollywood. Its got way more records, but definitely doesn’t have the same feel and knowledge of the genre to back it up. R.I.P. Fat Beats.

Comment by gstatty 08.27.10 @

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