Label name: ABB Records, LLC.
Founded (Date): 1997
Founder(s): Beni B, Defari
Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?):
Beni B: I was in grad school at Berkeley working towards a PhD. in Exercise Physiology and doing radio at KALX. My little brother Defari was in L.A. at the time working on music and I kept asking him when his record was coming out so I could play it on my radio show. Everyone was busy, so it finally got to the point where I told D about wanting to start a label, and drop “Bionic” as the first release which Evidence produced. So I dropped out of school, launched ABB and the rest is history.
Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?):
In terms of releases, Defari’s 1st release (and the first release on ABB), Dilated Peoples’ “Work the Angles” 12” and Little Brother’s The Listening LP in 2002. Watching Defari, Dilated and Little Brother all step up to the next level, and knowing that we played a role in that is one of the greatest achievements thus far. The proudest moment I’ve had by far though is being able to provide an opportunity for myself and my staff to work at doing something they truly love. I’ve never worked for anyone in my life except myself (and my artists), so its truly a blessing.
Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?):
Current: Defari – Street Music, Planet Asia – The Medicine, Hall Of Justus Music Group – Soldiers Of Fortune, Darien Brockington – Somebody To Love, Saafir – Good Game: The Transition, Surreal and The Sound Providers – True Indeed.
2007 marks ABB’s 10 year anniversary. 2007’s schedule includes: The solo debut LP from Evidence of Dilated Peoples, The Weatherman LP on 3.20.07, Little Brother’s Getback (ABB/Atlantic), Soul:ID’s Sex, Love and Philosophy (ABB Soul), Mykestro, Recordkingz The Heavyweight, plus a few other joints we’re working on at the moment.
Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?):
ABB stands for “Always Bigger and Better.” That’s the impact we’re trying to achieve and maintain through a good first impression and consistency from release to release.
Within the Game (How does the label fit within the current climate of hip-hop? Or does it even fit in at all? What’s the label’s personality in relation to the rest of hip-hop?):
ABB is part of the same continuum and musical spectrum as Atlantic, Interscope, Aftermath, Stonesthrow, Def Jux etc. I am a DJ first and foremost, so that’s largely where ABB’s musical vision s derived from. ABB is constantly trying to raise the standard and push the envelope when it comes to artists, music, etc. We’re not afraid to work with new artists, new sounds and are always, always listening. We walk the walk.
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