What Will You Remember Most About Fat Beats?

Last week, news broke that in September Fat Beats will be closing their last two retail locations in New York and Los Angeles. After getting the news, my mind immediately took a stroll down memory lane. More than just a store, Fat Beats is also a record label, distribution company and an overall hip-hop institution. In the mid-1990’s my musical tastes were cultivated in Fat Beats’ Manhattan location (406 Avenue of the Americas). I never considered myself a DJ, though, as a teen I owned a pair of Technique 1200s and a Gemini mixer. As a result, I’ve purchased a ton of vinyl from Fat Beats and collected years of memories from my visits.

I don’t remember my first trip to the store, but there are specific things that stick out in my mind. I remember being so broke the day that the Beanuts dropped their second full-length album Stone Crazy. I had $10 to my name, didn’t eat lunch, but went to Fat Beats to buy the album on vinyl. I would’ve loved to have the CD instead, but the record was $8.99 while the disc cost about $15.

Then, there was music that just wasn’t available on CD or cassette when it was originally released and you had to cop on vinyl. F.T’s “Metal Thangz” single, Royce Da 5’9”’s “Boom,” Company Flow’s original Funcrusher EP (before the Funcrusher Plus CD release) and M.F. Doom’s “Hey!” single.

Aside from the music copped at Fat Beats, there were a ton of in-stores and battles. I remember when RZA’s Bobby Digital album came out he did a signing and the line was outside and around the block. Q-Unique of the Arsonists used to hold the preliminary rounds to his Yes You Can MC battle in the store. Me and my boys would go up and watch cats like Poison Pen, C Rayz Walz and Jin go against each other.

Unfortunately, as I grew older my pilgrimages to Fat Beats became less and less frequent, but the memories will live on forever. What are your favorite Fat Beats memories? —Rob Markman

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  • Nadir

    I went to the L.A. location on melrose on crutches to see Pac Div perform. It was like a week after a brutal knee surgery and i could only use one leg… I crutched up these steep ass stairs and got to see a good show. But I’ll always remember jus goin up there jus to listen to music i had never heard before. It was one of the last things I did with my best friend before she moved out of state.
    damn…… Fat Beats was the shit!

  • BeerGangsta

    They won’t be hurting money wise. They made a good amount of money to maintain until they get into something else. Thats why you plan for future. Just in case something back fire.

  • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

    “What are your favorite Fat Beats memories?”

    ^ just being there, high as hell, zoning out on the album covers, spending like a c-note on vinyl.

    90% of the time I would be there, there was a rapper dude in the place to be.

  • Casey

    I used to hit the LI location, the Cop Shop. RIP

  • render

    Percee P, always on his grind at fat beats

    • robmarkman

      HAHAHA- Percee P was ALWAYS out there. “I got Hip-Hop Quotable in the Source”

  • dat koon nigga

    being over priced is what i will remember fatbeats for in nyc

    but i will also remember buying stillamatic at the amsterdam shop back in 2002

  • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

    oh, I forgot posting up @ Grey’s Papaya…

  • http://www.emcdl.com EmCDL

    Like I said before, I never even heard of the place until I checked their online store to cop the Rocberg album. I wish that their physical stores weren’t closing down now that I’m hearing such great things about this place. I got my own lil place I go to here and there called Freakbeat Records; they stay having vinyl and its a cool lil chill spot just to vibe out to the music (although they don’t play hip hop in there most of the time).

    R.I.P. Fatbeats

  • Q461

    Sad that the digital era is killing the way we live, especially in hip-hop. First Tower, than Virgin Megastore, now Fat Beats. Nothin like the physical experience of buying music, a disc, vinyl, downloads just ain’t the same. It’s crazy to think my children prob won’t even know music in it’s physical form no liner notes, lyrics, shoutouts, album cover art, the excitement of copping something new on Tuesdays…. Some sad shit yo. RIP Fat Beats, you will be missed.

    • sb


  • Rapture

    used to hit up Fat Beats NY all the time when I was still living in the Bricks…couple years ago, they let me and my wife drop off mad samplers of our album Mr and Mrs. Spit, and they handed em out to anybody who copped something from them…mad memories, that spot will be missed

    RIP FatBeats

  • Rakim Can Not Rap

    I think mostly I’m going to remember this fool for being such a fuck nigga, always talm shit and never ONCE backin it up. RIP pussy nigga enjoy gettin ate by worms.

  • house

    I remember a little bit too much attitude and I always preferred disc-o-rama on West 4th which was much more of a cratedigger’s paradise and had more promos and white labels and better prices. I never liked shopping in fat beats much.

    • audio tech

      oh ok so u was the one i threw down the stairs for asking me multiple times if we got the lil’ wayne album yet..my bad homey

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