Sixteen years ago, Fat Beats opened its doors in New York City. The store, presently located on Lower Manhattan's Sixth Avenue has been a staple in Hip Hop culture since. On top of being a leading retailer for vinyl and independent Hip Hop since its inception, Fat Beats has been a current and past employer to artists such as Ill Bill, Q-Unique and DJ Eclipse.
The store's west coast location, in Los Angeles, is also closing its doors. The Beat Junkies' DJ Rhettmatic and J. Rocc have been employees of that store.
The New York location will close its doors September 4th, while the Los Angeles' Melrose location will follow on September 18th. Past locations existed in Atlanta, Amsterdam and Tokyo.
The store cites digital trends and sales decreases as reason for the closings.
“The closing of Fat Beats is just like one of my friends passing away. They promoted vinyl at its highest degree for the culture of good music and that makes it more difficult to say goodbye," said DJ Premier in a statement.
The store will now move to focusing on online retail, distribution, as well as maintaining its Brooklyn-based label. Fat Beats Records is home to such artists as Black Milk, Ill Bill, Sha Stimuli and KRS-One and True Master's upcoming project. Over the years, the label has released acclaimed albums such as Black Milk's Tronic, Torae's Daily Conversation and Freddie Foxxx's Crazy Like A Foxxx.
Fat Beats President Joe Abijian said, “This is the start of a new era for Fat Beats. We’re adapting to meet the needs of our demographic by revamping and improving our existing systems. While our website, which stocks everything available in our retail stores, continues to do very well, we’re still exploring our options for alternate retail locations in the future. We’re proud of our legacy and will continue to re-invent ourselves. For now, we’ll see you online at FatBeats.com”