It’s a sad day for hip-hop heads around the United States. Even though these were the only two Fat Beats stores left, I know that when I took a trip to New York City last fall I had to include a stop at the legendary label’s hip-hop shop. If you haven’t made the trek to either that store, which opened in 1994, or the one in Los Angeles, I’d advise you to do so soon.
The New York location closes Sept. 4 and Los Angeles’ shop closes Sept. 18. Until those days come, both will be throwing a series of sales and tribute parties, which will be open to the public. It’s likely they will feature some great underground hip-hop performances, which have become a staple of the stores since they opened.
Fat Beats will continue to sell CDs, vinyl, and digital albums through its online store, but this remains a huge blow to the indie retail store market. As anyone who’s not living under a rock knows, though, this is just another unfortunate sign of the times. Huge chains have dropped like flies, from HMV to Virgin Megastore, while some smaller shops have struggled to remain open.
It’s not all bad for Fat Beats, though, as the label and distribution sections of the company are making strides. As stated by Fat Beats owner and President Joe Abajian:
“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.
Check the Fat Beats’ website for more details.