Fat Beats started in 1994 and had five stores at one point, in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Tokyo and Amsterdam. They also had a label and distribution set up and cranked out hundreds of underground rap 12s, some good and many mediocre. They became renowned for their in-store performances and synonymous with the New York Hip Hop sound. After a good run, later all the stores closed and Fat Beats continued with the distribution and are still blasting out a lot of vinyl online.
I lived in Amsterdam when the store opened and would continually pester the employees for a job but they never gave me one. I would make them play through all the new records until they would go mad. Eventually, Fat Beats & IBMCs were able to work together promoting one event, a Souls of Mischief show at the Melkweg in 1999.
In 2010 I went to New York and ran straight down to the Fat Beats store. It was open but badly stocked and shortly to go out of business. Although the experience was anticlimactic, I struck up a conversation with a rapper hustling CDs outside, and later with my brother, zoomed into the heart of Brooklyn to meet him for another adventure.
Shouts out to Joseph Abajian aka DJ Jab for his massive contribution to Hip Hop.
Fat Beats Forever!