Record Label: Stones Throw
It all started at a Detroit strip club called Platinum, with a platter of deep-fried beef taquitos and a dancer whose face looked a bit like Burt Reynolds. It was here that Sam Baker first met a self-described fan of his, who gave him the sage advice to take his music work more seriously.
Sam had long since graduated from tapping on piano, clarinet and video games to working on the MPC and 404 under the name Samiyam, circulating beat tapes among local crew in Michigan, and zip files to friends on the web. He was among a network of post-Donuts hip-hop producers focusing on instrumentals as the work, rather than traditional MC/producer collaborations, who found themselves migrating west and huddling in the scene around the Low End Theory in east Los Angeles.
That's where Flying Lotus met Sam and picked him for the debut release on his Brainfeeder label, 2008's Rap Beats Vol. 1. Sam Baker's Album followed in 2011. His Wish You Were Here showed up on Leaving Records in 2013, along with production work for Earl Sweatshirt, Captain Murphy and Pharoahe Monch along the way.
Samiyam has been extended Stones Throw family for a while now, and debuts on the label with Animals Have Feelings, an album which he considers the creative sequel to Rap Beats Vol. 1. As he tells it, "Animals has roots in beats made around the time of Vol. 1, and the new stuff on the record has some of the same sound."
The record is classic instrumental hip-hop, mixed with a handful of rap tracks he did with the few MC collaborators he chooses to work with: Earl Sweatshirt ("Mirror"), Action Bronson ("Mr. Wonderful"), Jeremiah Jae and Oliver the 2nd ("Lord of the Rings").
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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.
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, Abajian 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. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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Fat Beats offers internship opportunities. You must be enrolled in college and reside in the Los Angeles area to be eligible for our programs. If you meet these requirements, please paste your cover letter below and we will contact you if there are open positions available.
We are currently offering an internship program that offers an educational experience in all facets of our distribution operation. The intern would have the ability to assist in each of the following departments:
Online Retail / Marketing
Shipping & Receiving
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Resumes/Cover Letters should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org