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Fat Beats in New York City was the place to go for underground and real hip hop music. It was a record store that carried all the latest vinyl releases, CDs and DVDs and stepping in there was sacred ground for many fans of the genre. I used to go in there with the Planet Chocko Crew all the time especially when they held in-store performances and signings. Sometimes the small store on Sixth Ave. between 8th and 9th Streets was packed and hot as Africa in there but it was worth it to see the likes of Immortal Technique, Black Milk, the X-Ecutioners, or Talib Kweli perform there. The signings were crazy too…where else could you get your stuff signed by your favorite MCs and DJs: RZA, Raekwon, Das Efx, Dilated Peoples, Gang Starr, Q-Tip, Mix Master Mike, KRS-One, Jean Grae. Way too many to list here…not always on time, but they showed up eventually. It is no easy task to navigate and park in NYC during rush hour. It would also be a sin not to mention the always friendly and informative staff that worked there. So anyway, when Fat Beats closed and shut its doors forever in 2010 it was a kick to the nuts and the end of an era for hip hop in New York City (the birthplace of the genre…that sh!t ain’t right!). DJ Eclipse, the manager at Fat Beats and host of the Halftime Show on 89.1 WNYU FM (tune in every Wednesday night at 10:30 pm to 1 am!) said, shortly before the closing that pretty much rent was high and sales were low.

Going to the store in its final days of business was difficult to say the least. We definitely lost something special. Fat Beats went out swinging in that final week with full days of performances and appearances by some of the best underground hip hop artists to bless a stage. It was like a hip hop woodstock up in there last September and everybody was there to pay homage to their favorite hip hop shop from DJ Premier, Masta Ace, and Pete Rock to newer generation of cats like Cold Heat and Brown Bag Allstars. It was insane and you were lucky if you got in on the last day. The crowd spilled out into Sixth Ave and across the street while people reminisced about the store and ciphers formed and MCs freestyled until the sun the went down.

Almost a half year later, on the Halftime Show, Eclipse announced that Fat Beats was opening a Pop-Up Store in Brooklyn! DJ Jab (Joseph Abajian), the founder and owner of Fat Beats planned on opening a portion of the warehouse in Brooklyn as a retail space for customers to come by and buy some vinyl, CDs, shirts and they’ll be opening their doors every once in a while. Perhaps every month, I guess it all depends if the Pop-Up is successful. So, come through represent and support
Saturday March 5 from 12-8 pm at 110 Bridge St. 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Subway riders: take the F Train to York St. DJs will be spinning all day: DJ Spinna, DJ Evil Dee, Rich Medina and most likely surprise guests. I think they have something planned for Record Store Day in April. So, come on down, have fun diggin’ in da crates and support real hip hop in New York City! In the meantime and in between time check out their website for updates and releases. FAT BEATS Lives on!

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