I started shopping for records at Fat Beats when they were in a tiny East Village hole, below street level. Mr. Sinister and Roc Raider were there, working or hanging out, I could never figure out which. A few years later, in the mid-90s, Fat Beats moved to a prime spot on Sixth Avenue just off Eighth Street. DJ Ei, Ill Bill and Eclipse were there, to name just a few. Percee P was always downstairs hawking mixtapes and showing off his skills.
I stopped buying records years ago now, though I still fall through places like Big City and A-1 to visit friends. Still, I’m sad, though hardly surprised, to see that Fat Beats is closing up shop in New York and L.A. When I worked in Hollywood for four months in 1996-97, I was a regular at Fat Beats in East L.A. Babu was there at the time, the whole Dialated Crew, guys like J-Rocc, too.
Certainly marks the end of an era.