Goodbye, Fat Beats.

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Fat Beats, my favorite place in New York City that doesn’t involve food, will close its remaining locations in New York and Los Angeles next September, XXLmag.com reports.

I wrote about Fat Beats and the business of hip-hop vinyl last year. DJ Eclipse told me that hip-hop wasn’t part of the niche resurgence of vinyl, but it never occurred to me that Fat Beats might close. How could it? Like so many others, I looked at Fat Beats as the old friend I could see whenever I wanted. Fat Beats was a haven for people who live and breathe hip-hop. You walked in and MF Doom, Smif-n-Wessun, and Count Bass D watched you from their LPs on the walls.

Record collectors will mourn Fat Beats as the source of hard-to-find records. But I grew up on mp3s and immediate access to every song ever made. I will remember Fat Beats differently.

I’ll remember Fat Beats as the place where Tanya Morgan told me they follow my insignificant blog. Where I met underground artists like Homeboy Sandman, Magestik Legend, and Shawn Jackson who turned out to be amazing talents. Where People Under The Stairs performed for me and no more than a dozen others who had the will to trudge through the rain. Where artists waited on the sidewalk to force their CD into my hand in exchange for a few dollars. Where I got to tell Black Milk how crazy “Motown 25″ is. Where I interviewed Blaq Poet while he swigged from a bottle.

Fat Beats was a place where you could surround yourself with music and people who love that music. No club or concert venue can ever take its place or duplicate its feeling.

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