Fat Beats Records

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Joseph Abajian (Dj Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.

Fat Beats was already established at the epicenter of the scene that was, until only a few years prior, entrenched in the underground. Joseph’s foresight paid off, but he quickly found himself understaffed and lacking space as local DJ’s, international tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay-Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, OutKast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.

In the late nineties, Joseph proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. It was the distribution arm of Fat Beats, however, that has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise.

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