Label name: Shaman Work Recordings, Inc.
Founded (Date): August 2003
Founders: Chris Craft and Lamar Gilliam
Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?):
Shaman Work Recordings started as the brainchild of Divine Mind’s Chris “Rictor” Craft in the fall of 1999 while working towards a general science degree at
Shaman Work Recordings resurfaced with the release of AlphaBeats.com’s ‘The Alpha Project Vol. 1’ in the spring of 2002. This compilation featured such rising artists as B.I. and the Divine Mind crew. It was an important step in the process that shaped Shaman Work’s identity. Through word of mouth and internet buzz, the ‘Vol. 1’ compilation gained enough underground recognition and energy which resulted in the making of ‘The Alpha Projects Vol. 2,’ released in the spring of 2003. This album not only included Shaman Work artists as the previously mentioned B.I. and Divine Mind, but also featured the Neptunes, Clipse, and underground heroes Little Brother and Science Fiction aka Wale Oyejide. The conclusion was simple and audible; the artists of Shaman Work were able to hold their own against music’s finest. There was no turning back.
That spring, Craft and his partner Gilliam decided to rebuild and strengthen their Shaman Work roster, adding musicians and artists with not only hip-hop aspirations, but other musical interests as well. They made it a point to add individuals with visions and aspirations to not only make good music, but also to innovate and elevate their musicality to higher levels. Likewise, the results can be seen in the variety of musical genres the label represents, including hip-hop, soul, jazz, and dance. Shaman Work’s diverse roster includes such artists as C.L. Smooth, Sol Uprising, Wale Oyejide aka Science Fiction, Emanon, Metal Fingers aka MF DOOM, Scienz of Life, Lacks aka Ta’Raach, Finale, Divine Mind, B.I., Bandwidth and Misters.
The artists of Shaman Work Recordings are not afraid to push the boundaries of creativity and music. Their goal is to not only fill a void in hip-hop, but also a music world lacking in originality. Through future recordings, they will innovate and break down the existing barriers that suffocate other musicians. Company execs Chris Craft and Lamar Gilliam have put together a team that will lay the foundation for Shaman Work to become a mainstay in the entertainment industry.
Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?):
*Making hip-hop history by releasing CL Smooth’s solo album ‘American Me’ after his 10 year hiatus from hip-hop.
*Putting instrumental music in the forefront of the independent industry with releases like MF DOOM ‘Special Herbs’ and our famous ‘Beatology’ series.
*Putting out the promotional release “Shaman Work Tribute: A Brief Education on the Musical Genius of Jay Dee” in order to help raise awareness of this great hip hop pioneer and to raise money for the jdilla.org foundation.
Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?):
Planned for 2007 (to name a few):
*E.A. Floe – ‘The Streetwise’ LP
*’Beatology Vol. 3 & 4’ LP
*Wise Intelligent – Untitled LP
*Trump – Untitled LP
*Scienz of Life – Untitled LP
*Tiffany Paige – Untitled LP
Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?):
Our main goal and purpose is to truly let our ideas manifest and keep originality in the forefront of our mission. The success of Shaman Work does not revolve around any one artist or company exec. Saying that, another important goal of our collective is to show the industry and the world that promoting family and synergy is the key to true success as a collective.
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?):
We have created our own world. Our fans get their passports stamped when they come to our realm. Our goal is to be truly independent and not have our music and business operations be effected by any trends that come and go in the industry.