Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fat Beats

Fat Beats has been a Hip-Hop staple in New York city over the last 16 years.  Unfortunately, the digital age has forced the record shop to close it's final storefront's doors for good.  Fat Beats as a company is still in business thankfully and those who still need their vinyl fix can find them at

The last week of face to face business was highlighted by in-store performances from some of the stores long standing friends.  I went out for Friday's performances/appearances by by Brown Bag All-Stars, Tonedeff, PackFM, J Live, Masta Ace and others.

The small store was very crowded and hot beyond belief but fans stuck it out for the love of Hip-Hop and what Fat Beats has meant to the Hip-Hop community.  It was cool seeing all of the regular patrons, fans and people just drawn in by the crowd vibing to the music and energy.

Today marked the final performances and there were some major names scheduled to show up, including DJ Premier and Just Blaze.  I opted out of going downtown again to catch them.  I never frequented Fat Beats but I've been to the store several times and it was always a very unique and classic energy in the building.  I hate to see stores like this close.  These types of establishments embody the heart and soul of our culture. 

Check out a few pics of the performances...

NanoTech210: The Future is Here

I had a great opportunity to talk with a representative from NanoTech210 yesterday.  They are a budding electronics company specializing in luxury cell phone watches.  While the idea may sound like a mere novelty, they are producing highly functional and highly stylish timepieces.  Ranging from sport models up to the flagship "The Aviator" model, these full featured cell phones provide tech fanatics a true conversation piece.

Here's what the rep had to say:

RF: Obviously a product like this doesn't pop up overnight.  How long has NanoTech210 been in business?

Johanna: Since 2008.  The construction element/technology for the cell phone watch has been around.  The styles and the patents on the actual designs are new.  The touch screens are new.  Our "Aviator" watch is a total upgrade from anything seen prior.  So we've been around a while but we're just now starting to make our mark.

The Aviator

RF: What were the early products like?

Johanna: Cell phone watches before NanoTech210 were not nearly as stylish.  We brought the sport type that's kind of like a G-Shock.  Our Boss Classic has a Breitling feel; the Aviator has Audemars inspiration.  These are much more fashion driven as opposed to just being a cell phone on your wrist.  They are more subdued so you don't know it's a cell phone at first glance.  One would have to inquire about it.

RF: There are currently 4 styles, not including the custom watches.  What's next on the agenda?

Johanna: We have different colors coming out and some special edition limited watches for the Sport version.  We're also working on a smaller ladies version.  A lot of ladies want a smaller face even though the big masculine faces are in for women right now.  For the men, we just want to be a little more sporty and more sophisticated.  We have a very limited Nano Sport watch coming out that will probably be kept to 100 pieces.  That will likely pass around to (celebrities).

Nano Sport

RF: Any plans for collaborative efforts?

Johanna:  We're definitely open to that.  So far, we haven't really stepped into that arena.  However, NanoTech is a company that's willing to explore (all) options.  It's intended to be fun, fashionable and current.  So in keeping with current trends, if anyone wants to step in and do a collab, come on!

RF: Looking at the website, I see that the company is based in Europe and also has offices in Canada.  Which market has been most receptive to this product?

Johanna: Europe has had it for a while.  Between Europe and Japan, they always kind of get stuff before we do.  They've definitely been receptive to it.  I'll tell you what though, since it's been in the (US) and I've been wearing it, I constantly get stopped and questioned about it.  People are fascinated by it, that it is a phone and that it has as many functions as it does.  You can watch movies on it and record audio and video.  It's a world phone, so you can set many different languages...people really like it.  We opened a corporate office in Beverly Hills, CA and it's been a big success.  We will be branching out to Dubai, India and the Philippines by 2011.

RF:  So people interested in this phone can purchase the watch, pop out their current phones SIM card, put it in the watch and they're up and running?

Johanna: Yes!  Let's say you have a Blackberry on T-Mobile.  You want to go out and you don't want to carry, look at or be bothered by your Blackberry.  You just pop the SIM card out and put it in your watch.  You're done.

Nano Boss Sport

RF:  Being that it's such a small form factor and, obviously, smaller parts are more expensive, how is it that you're able to keep your prices reasonable?

Johanna:  We definitely want to keep buyer friendly prices.  We have a great designer and a great manufacturer.  We're not looking to (gouge) anyone with our prices.  Our custom watches can certainly get pricey depending on cut, color and clarity of diamonds.  Whatever it is, we work it out.  We want them to be affordable.  It's all about lifestyle with us.

Custom Nano Sport

RF: Where can interested consumers find your products?

Johanna: Go to  At the moment, we're just getting them into stores.  We have a few lined up in Chicago and Los Angeles.  Things are in the works though.  In the next few weeks or so, they will be out in stores.  Once they are out, you can go to the website and use the store locator to see where in your area you can find them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jazmine Sullivan - "Holding You Down"

I really enjoyed Jazmine's first album but I almost forgot her presence in the music industry.  I was surprised to find this new single, released yesterday, online today.  Leave it to Missy to take something so old school and make it this new school.  I hope that her new album "Love Me Back" is quality.  Her voice is so soulful and powerful.  I hope this single is in the minority of songs on the album.  Look for the album on September 28th.