Filed under: Def Dames,Fat Beats Memories,Guest Drops,Not Your Average
Written by: Max Angeles
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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