Props to DJ Eclipse for this footage.
Eclipse says: “The original location of Fat Beats launched on July 14, 1994 which means FB just turned 20 years old! Business was doing so well 2 years in that Joseph Abajian decided to move the store from it’s small 9th St. basement space into a 2nd floor location on 6th Avenue. August 1996 (day?) was the grand opening of the 406 6th Avenue location. It was also the beginnings of our independent movement which had recently started bubbling about a year before.
Yesterday I started converting old Hi8 video tapes to DVD and came across some interesting footage from that day. Now we had a lot of the usual suspects in the place that day such as ILL BILL, Arsonists, Lord Finesse, Adagio, Breeze Brewin, A.L. Skills, Percee P, J-Live, Mr. Live, Chino XL, Al Tariq, Black Attack, Xzibit, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Rawcotiks, Ak Skills, Rob Swift, Roc Raida, DJ Spinna and many, many more. But what took me by surprise was the appearance of this 19-year-old kid who at that time nobody knew. At least in NYC.”
UPDATE: Kanye West, Al Tariq, Butter Lee & Black Attack at Fat Beats, August 1996 (Extended Clip).
Eclipse says: I’m sure most of you have seen the Kanye clip from the grand opening of Fat Beats by now. Like I had mentioned before there were so many dope artists performing that day. Here’s the extended clip that the Kanye footage came from along with some back story. Al Tariq from the Beatnuts came through that day and brought some of his people with him. His people being Butter Lee from Rawcotiks, Black Attack and Kanye West. Both Rawcotiks and Black Attack were featured on Tariq’s “God Connections” album which came out on Correct Records in ’96. Another artist that was on Correct Records was Grav who was from Chicago and put out an album called “Down To Earth” (also in ’96). Not only was Tariq featured on that album as well, but it would also feature the first appearance of Kanye West on the mic on a song called “Line For Line” (which he also produced along with half the album). In addition to that connection, Kanye was a student of No I.D. & Dug Infinite who were producers that had been working with Common (Sense). Common was signed to Relativity Records as was the Beatnuts. So when Kanye started making trips to New York to “make it” in the music biz one of his first stops was at Relativity Records. There was a person who worked at Relativity named Peter Kang who was heavily involved with the Beatnuts and also took an early interest in Kanye West and started managing him. So whenever he would have the Beatnuts out and about he would bring around Kanye. And that’s how Kanye ended up at Fat Beats that day. Happy 20th anniversary Fat Beats!