Brick Records

Founded 1996

 

Members: 

Truth Elemental (Josh Gagne)

Papa D! (Adam Defalco)

KARMA (Trevor Gendron)

Will C. (William Curley)

 

 

 

Back Story/Mission Statement:

SCIENCE

Once translucent glass shattered into web-like shapes upon the impact of a simple brick thrown with angry defiance. This brick was stained with the blood of the downed officer who lay next to his vandalized vehicle. A black and white photo of this scene, brick lying next to the damaged windshield, appeared in the following day’s paper, with propaganda stating "police officer wounded in the line of duty." A news story that could only be justified if an officer’s duty includes the beating of a handcuffed 16 year old girl while breaking up a party, which is why the brick was utilized. This single brick, a mark of defiance, is the basic symbol of Brick Records, a Boston, MA based hip-hop label. Brick Records is a reaction not only to the oppressive social structure of America as a whole, but also to the current state and structure of the hip-hop industry. Many ideological and vinyl "bricks" are being launched. . . .

 

The individual who velocitized that first brick in the above narrative passed away in a mysterious "accident" shortly thereafter. He was a personal friend of mine. Brick’s first release, the "Respect Due" 7" compilation was done in tribute to him. It was released in January, 1996 and is since out of print.

 

This release was also the first brick laid in the construction of an underground empire. Brick Records is truly an independent operation, originally financed with student loan loot and run out of my bedroom in between work and classes. In a little over a year of operation, the label had significantly grown. So much so, that I could no longer bear the workload by myself. In 1997 Papa D signed on as a partner. Soon after, Karma signed on as art director, but also plays a more active role in the label as well. As a triad, Brick Records has been unstoppable, and has outlasted many of the other major independent labels throughout the years. This is because we are primarily fans first. The love of, and belief in, our artists and their music has kept us strong and allowed us to perservere through any trying times. 

 

In the early years, Brick Records was known as the home of the Rebel Alliance crew, and also as a cornerstone of Boston hip hop. The Rebel Alliance made mad noise in the rapidly growing indie/underground hip-hop scene starting with the release of the AOI/God Complex split 12" EP in early 1996 (God Complex, without Karma, have since changed their name to 7L & Esoteric). In the past, the label had concentrated primarily on releasing works by Rebel Alliance members (7L & Esoteric, Mr. Lif, etc), and helped get them recognized worldwide as some of hip-hop’s most innovative artists. Since then, the label has expanded and has put out many classic releases from artists nationwide.

 

The hard, abrasive brick is not only used as a tool of destruction, it is also a basic building block. Urban monoliths rise from the laying of the first single brick. The brick is like knowledge, it can be used to build or to destroy. We use it for both, to build a new foundation, to pave the way for a new breed of hip-hop artists, and to take out those who suppress/oppress us.

 

TRUTH ELEMENTAL

Originally written September, 1997 

Updated October 2004





 

 

Press Release 2007:

In 1996, Brian Coleman (author of "Rakim Told Me" and noted Hip Hop journalist) wrote in CMJ magazine that the God Complex/AOI split 12" single was one of the most refreshing and important independent records that year (the 100 pressed on the green and orange marble wax are coveted). Ten years and eighty releases later, the same upstart label that brought you that split 12", Brick Records, presents "X: A Decade Of Independence."

Surviving a decade in this fickle independent hip hop climate is next to impossible these days. Brick did it pre-internet, pre-international distribution and pre-pro tools. Sounds crazy, yet true. The imprint would lead a resurgence in the Boston hip hop scene and would establish artists to carry on the torch initially lit by legendary acts like Gangstarr Posse, Edo G., The Almighty R.S.O, Top Choice Clique and TDS Mob. Brick Records launched the careers of every notable "new school" act to come out of the commonwealth in the last ten years, most importantly The Rebel Alliance, 7L & Esoteric, Mr. Lif, Insight, Skitzofreniks, Beyonder, D-Tension and currently Raydar Ellis and Termanology.

Not limited to ‘Murda’ Mass, Brick expanded it’s operation and it’s wings releasing projects worldwide with a pre-mask wearing MF DOOM, Ras Kass, Scratch (The Roots), 9th Wonder (Little Brother), brooklyn rhyme legend and Wu Tang affiliate Shabazz The Disciple, Mood frontman Main Flow, Louis Logic and super producer Chops (Mountain Brothers). The label would pair up it’s stable producers and artists with some of the best in the industry leading to collaborations with Slug (Atmosphere), Cormega, Talib Kweli, Black Thought, Z-Trip, Boot Camp Click, A.G., Jedi Mind Tricks and more right up to the current hit single from Termanology "Watch How It Go Down (Remix),", produced by legendary producer DJ Premier and featuring Lil Fame from M.O.P. and recent Jive signee/Kay Slay protegé Papoose.

"X: A Decade Of Independence" is a celebration of an accomplishment; of a respected history and brand. Seamlessly mixed and blended by the newest and very talented additions to the Brick family Raydar Ellis and Will C. and with precise cuts and scratches by DJ Rugged One, "X" takes the listener on an interesting journey over two discs and 27 of the best Brick has to boast, starting with the first future retro sonics of God Complex’s "Strontium 90" right up to the Term and Preemo current classic "Watch How It Goes Down." Thorough and historic stuff.

Here’s to the next decade…

 

Greatest Achievements:

I think our greatest acheivement is being able to look back at the last ten years and say that we are proud of and stand behind every release that we have put out. We have been lucky enough to have had talented, motivated, hard working, influencial artists like 7L & Esoteric, Mr. Lif, Insight, Raydar Ellis and Termanology and have had the oppurtunity and garnered the respect to work with bigger more established artists and legends like Premier, DOOM, Mega & Ras Kass. Just surviving in this game from 96 on with all the changes is an achievement in itself.





Current Projects:

We are still promoting are full-lengths from:

King Syze – "Syzemology"

D-Tension – "Contacts & Contracts II"

Raydar Ellis – "Late Pass"

Main Flow and 7L – "Flow Season"

Termanology – "Hood Politics IV: Show & Prove"

 

On 2.13 we will release Brick Records – "X: A Decade Of Independence", our 2 Disc Compilation of the history of the label from ’96 to present. (See Press Release Above)

 

in the Spring we will release Raheem Jamal (Of Project Move) – "Boom Box" produced entirely by Raydar Ellis…this is our promo tag for the album:

"This is how rap albums used to be. This is how rap albums should be. One MC, one producer, and a couple of their boys. Songs about life, love, struggle and strength. Brick Records proudly presents Raheem Jamal, "Boom Box. "

 

As far as goals and personality, we at Brick want the same thing we have always wanted, to put out good, quality music with talented people that we like ourselves and that we can be proud of. We aren’t re-inventing the wheel here. We are a small independent label that works hard, stays honest and releases quality records, plain and simple. We aren’t trying to own or beat our artists. We aren’t trying to "Save Hip Hop", or "Keep It Real" or find the "next" Pac or Biggie…we are trying to find Raydar Ellis, we are tying to find Termanology and find Raheem Jamal, and we are trying to get people to find them. We are not exploiting the culture, we are enhancing it.

 

 

CLICK HERE TO READ RAYDAR ELLIS INTERVIEW

CLICK HERE TO READ RAHEEM JAMAL INTERVIEW

CLICK HERE TO READ D-TENSION  INTERVIEW

CLICK HERE TO READ MAIN FLOW  INTERVIEW