Record Label: Get On Down
The Jungle Brothers' 1988 debut, Straight Out The Jungle, was important for many reasons. It was sloppy and goofy but had moments of real focus and social consciousness. It was a true "kitchen sink" record, that caught a rap fan-base enraptured by Eric B. & Rakim, Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions a bit off-guard. Also of note, beyond the excellence of the album itself, the Jungle Brothers were the fulcrum for what would become the Native Tongues movement - they came first, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest followed, under their guidance.
By 1989, the group had even more confidence, plus a Warner Bros. contract and advance in their back pocket. They used it to great advantage on the self-produced and criminally underrated Done By The Forces Of Nature, expanding their sonic palette and continuing their Afrocentric approach to music and life. Singles like "What 'U' Waitin' 4" and "Doin' Our Own Dang" (with De La and Q-Tip, alongside Monie Love) showed the group's fun side, which has also lead the way in the "hip-house" movement. But things weren't all fun and games, as deeper, more pensive album tracks like "Black Woman," "Beeds On A String," and "Acknowledge Your Own History" show. It was another accomplished mix of fun, frolic and knowledge-of-self, proving that you could be serious in the rap game but still let off steam and fill the dancefloor.
Done By The Forces Of Nature stands as one of the most cherished hip-hop documents of the late '80s among true-school heads, and this edition is the perfect way to revisit this classic thinking-man's (and woman's) rap platter. Issued for the first time ever on 2-LP with the original picture sleeve artwork, it also comes with a reproduction of the original insert, with credits and lyrics.
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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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