WHO IS FATTIE B.?
Fattie Bumballattie (or Fattie B.) is my creative alter ego.
Who am I? My given name is Martin Kyle Thompson from Bristol, Vermont and I currently live in Burlington, Vermont. I've been a DJ, emcee and visual artist for over 25 years and have recently added the title of author to my repertoire. After over a decade and a half (17 years and counting) behind the decks at the famous RETRONOME 70’s and 80’s dance parties on Saturday nights at Club Metronome, I have written a book documenting my crazy experiences. Titled ‘I WAS A 400-POUND ‘80s DJ’, the book shares my love for the music through hilarious short stories that pull back the curtain on our DJ lives – for better or sometimes, even worse. Click HERE to buy a copy now.
I grew up in Bristol and graduated from Mount Abraham high school. I was an Honor Society member and a 3-sport athlete (soccer, basketball and baseball). After high school, I began a weekly DJ slot on 90.1 FM (WRUV) radio while attending Champlain College. In 1993 under the pseudonym Fattie Bumballattie, I joined the acid-jazz/soul/funk band BELIZBEHA as an MC. The seven-piece collective (which featured 2 female vocalists and a full rhythm section) spent the next 8 years touring, performing an average of 230 shows per year. BELIZBEHA toured throughout the continental US multiple times as well as extended trips to Canada and Germany. During this time, BELIZBEHA sold more than 35,000 independent copies of Charlie's Dream (their debut CD) and Void Where Inhibited (their second disc) combined. BELIZBEHA was the first unsigned band to work with the publicist Susan Blonde, whose clients at the time included Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. BELIZBEHA was touted as “the next sure thing” by Billboard magazine in 1998 and appeared on Canada’s Breakfast TV two times that same year. In 1999, on the verge of a major label deal, the band disbanded due to inner relationship disagreements.
Following the end of the touring grind, I landed a weekly weekend spot on the AAA radio station 96.7 FM (WPLS) called The Groovebox (along with fellow Burlington DJ Craig Mitchell). At the same time, I produced and released the first in a collection of independent compilations on my own Fattie B. Records titled HOP which showcased the finest downtempo, acid-jazz, hip-hop and soul from artists from around the northeast U.S. Between 1999 and 2004, I released six subsequent volumes of the HOP series. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of these discs went directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In April of 1999, I began to DJ a weekly club dance party showcasing 70’s & 80’s hits entitled RETRONOME at Club Metronome. It quickly became the area’s most successful residence. I'm still at the helm of RETRONOME to this day.
In 2002, I opened a small clothing boutique on Main Street in Burlington called STEEZ. With my partner, Jordan Boyea, we sold such clothing lines such as LRG, Mixwell, X-Large, The Hundreds, Leroy Jenkins and Lemar & Dauley. STEEZ also sold canvases and clothing featuring my acrylic painting artwork (inspired equally by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and hip-hop’s golden era). I currently have an on-going original acrylic painting show at Jan Larsen Gallery in Brooklyn, NY (www.janlarsenart.com). Click the HERE to view my works now.
In 2001, I produced and released Burlington’s Un-Scene, a collaborative compilation CD with local record store L-Burners that featured the best of the areas hip-hop MCs and DJs. I also returned to the microphone to lead seminal hip-hop groups Eye Oh You and 3 the Hard Way (with DJ A-Dog) to extremely successful runs. Eye Oh You’s 2002 album Just A Typical Red Square Thursday was named the top album of the year in Vermont by the Burlington Free Press and Eye Oh You placed 2 albums in the Top 10 in 2003 (according to Seven days). One year later, I produced and released Greetings From Vermont: An Introduction To Burlington’s MCs and Djs - another showcase of local hip-hop talent. Click HERE to check out some of my older music.
In 2006, STEEZ moved from its smaller Main Street location to a larger, more visible space on the Church Street marketplace at 104 Church Street. The expanded store carried lines such as: Akomplice, 10Deep, Crooks & Castles, Black Scale and CTRL (among others). We sold the store in 2011. My bold hip-hop and DJ inspired art can be purchased as posters and prints and are distributed and sold worldwide by PYRAMID in stores such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target and Urban Outfitters. Click the HERE to view and buy my art now.
In 2007, I was featured in a cover story for Champlain College’s magazine The Champlain View. In 2011, I was honored to be asked to appear on the PBS program Profile, which interviews prominent figures from the world of arts, culture and public life. In 2015, I was commissioned to create a large scale art display celebrating the history of comedy at the new Vermont Comedy Club on Main Street in Burlington. My prints and posters of these pieces are for sale at the club.
The list of major acts that I have been blessed to share the stage with as a performer is humbling. Through my BELIZBEHA, Eye Oh You, 3 the Hard Way (and my most recent group, Fattie B’s Beat Biters) shows, as well as DJ gigs, I have performed with these amazing talents:
The Roots, Kool & the Gang, A Tribe Called Quest, Maceo Parker, Black Eyed Peas, Morris Day & the Time, Busta Rhymes, The Wailers, KRS-One, Ben Harper, Slick Rick, Africa Bambaata, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Pharcyde, Michael Franti, Talib Kweli, Gil Scott Herron, Jurrassic 5, Sugarhill Gang, Ziggy Marley, Digital Underground, Common, Us3, Redman, Big Daddy Kane, Grey Boy All-Stars, Guru, GZA, Brand Nubian, Groove Collective, Soulive, MOE, G-Love & Special Sauce, Smif n Wesson, Jon Fishman (of Phish), Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Schoolly D, C Rayz Walz, Mike G (of the Jungle Brothers), Oteil Burbridge, Ledisi, J-Live, String Cheese Incident, Disco Biscuits, Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Samples, Strangefolk and DJS Rob Swift, Revolution and Questlove.
Locally, I can currently be found locking it down at four different DJ gigs where I spin everything from hip-hop & soul to 80’s, 90’s & Motown. To download my DJ mixes for free, click HERE.