Record Label: Fat Beats Records
Very limited quantities of the Enta Da Stage Instrumentals available on vinyl.
Composed of members Buckshot, 5ft, and DJ Evil Dee, Black Moon simultaneously kicked off and defined the rap renaissance of New York with the release of Enta Da Stage in 1993. Whereas plenty of earlier groups had spit rage-filled rhymes to tear down the world’s unjust establishments, no one had evoked brooding pathos or introspective anger quite like Black Moon. Underground hip-hop might have been dominated by the sunny sound of G-Funk when Enta Da Stage dropped, but from then on the scene turned to the dark side. Black Moon was rising.
Working closely with the original members, Fat Beats Records is proud to present the definitive Enta Da Stage box set. Reissued for the first time across three formats – 6xLP, 3xCD, and 3xCassette – this album is the complete encapsulation of an era for anyone seeking to understand the origin and the essence of New York’s Golden Age. All formats include the Da Beatminerz (Evil Dee and Mr. Walt) instrumentals and remixes, plus extensive liner notes by David Ma (Pitchfork, Wax Poetics) with rare and unreleased visual ephemera in an 18 page booklet. The story of Black Moon, alongside their peers Biggie, Big L, Nas, Kool G Rap, and Wu Tang, reminds us that the bleakest times produce the most profound agents of cultural change. And as we stand at the precipice of a new age of anxiety, Enta Da Stage has never been more relevant… or more necessary.
Although Black Moon would go on to release three more albums – and its members would go on to greatness with Da Beatminerz, Boot Camp Klik, and various solo projects – Enta Da Stage remains the perfect distillation of tight lyrical menace, rowdy crew hooks, stripped down breaks, and deep basslines on all of its fourteen tracks. Although Enta Da Stage might stand in the shadow of East Coast albums such as Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Illmatic, Liquid Swords, Ready to Die, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and The Infamous, history will remember that Enta da Stage preceded those releases. To understand Enta Da Stage is to understand the origin and the spirit of New York hip-hop once and for all.
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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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