Fat Beats Is Back In Business. The Record Store Re-Opens In Los Angeles
In the midst of 2010, famed record store Fat Beats closed its New York City and Los Angeles, California locations. The vinyl, CD, tape, and Hip-Hop merchandise destination had become an international mainstay in the cultural landscape. Eminem, JAY-Z, Kanye West, Common, and countless others performed there. Members of Non-Phixion, The Juggaknots, The Arsonists, La Coka Nostra, and Brown Bag AllStars worked there. However, like many brick-and-mortar record stores catering to Hip-Hop, technology trends ultimately took their toll on the retailer started by Joe Abajian.
In a breath of good news, Fat Beats has made its return in a new L.A. location in the heart of City Of Angels’ Downtown section. On September 22, a store at 916 San Pedro Street re-opened. Just like the Hip-Hop outpouring when the stores closed back in 2010, some heavyweight DJs rolled through. Beat Junkies’ DJ Babu (also of Dilated People) and Rhettmatic (also of The Visionaries) were in effect mode, as well as House Shoes, Exile, Daedelus, Ras G, and others.
On a related note, AFH TV launched just over a week ago. It is Ambrosia For Heads’ Hip-Hop video streaming service. The offering features more than 35 years of video footage, including a collection from DJ Eclipse. As a longtime employee of Fat Beats, Eclipse played a critical role in the store’s history. He was a resident DJ and had an active hand in procuring many of the talented MCs who performed there. He was among the earliest to to spot and showcase the talents of artists like Organized Konfusion, Run The Jewels’ El-P, Kanye, Talib Kweli, Common, Kanye and many more.
Although the 6th Avenue location in Manhattan and former Melrose locale in L.A. have not operated since ’10, the store has maintained a presence online, and arranged physical pop-up shops periodically. Moreover, Fat Beats Records and its distribution arm have been holding strong. In the last year, they were involved with Blu & Exile’s In The Beginning: Before The Heavens and Your Old Droog’s Packs, among others.