Obese Records, Australia’s first hip hop label, was established in 1995 as a small record store originally named OB’s. After the business was bought and renamed by Tirren Staaf (Pegz) in 2002, the label was created as an outlet for the distribution of Australian hip-hop.
In the year 2000, Melbourne’s emcee Reason with his album Solid was the first release on the label, closely followed by the scene-defining Culture of Kings and Obesecity compilations. Over the course of its twelve years, Obese Records has seen success stories such as Hilltop Hoods, Drapht, Illy, Muph & Plutonic release award winning albums, play to crowds of thousands at Obese Block Parties, and cement their places in Australian hip hop history. Current artists on the roster include Plutonic Lab, M-Phazes, Dialectrix, Thundamentals, Spit Syndicate, Pegz, Chasm and more.
The nerve centre at Obese HQ, headed by Managing Director Fern Greig-Moore, along with Publicity and Content Manager Lindsey Martin, Lee Rawlings in charge of Sales and Distribution, Operations Assistant Rebecca Hunt, and Communications Intern Morgane Roncin. Services include sales, physical and electronic distribution, publicity, marketing, accounts, and A &R services.
In 2013 Obese Records signed its first management contract with successful underground emcee Kerser, one of many important artists on the extensive distribution roster. As the label continues to wave the banner for credible hip hop releases in Australia, the demand for distribution has increased. Boasting industry stalwarts such as Broken Tooth Entertainment, Crate Cartel, Wordburner/Bias B and Karsniogenics, Obese Distribution umbrellas over 100 of the country’s finest hip hop acts.
The Prahran store has become a hip hop mecca in Australia for committed fans, hosting album launches, in-store signing sessions, and radio marathons, the store’s manager Frank Mincone also has his own blog and segment on Obese TV.
After years of demographic observation, Pegz recognised the demand for a cultural hub in Frankston after observing a large portion of hip hop enthusiasts inhabited the bay side region and so the decision to open another store in Frankston was made.
Conveniently positioned at the heart of the township, the shop features an impressive wall piece by Melbourne graffiti artist Shem.
Besides vinyl, CDs, and the label’s own merchandise, Obese Records retail stocks street apparel and accessories from brands such as 1Line, Wu Tang, Burn Crew, and Kangol. Quality paints from Ironlak, Molotow are also available to customers over 18, as well as a wide range of arts supplies, street art magazines and DVDs.
The store’s opening signifies an important time in local hip hop culture, where in the face of the demise of physical music sales across the industry, the hip hop community continues to support vinyl and CD production.
Keep an ear out for upcoming Obese Records related events, and other announcements in the coming months.