Label name: Duck Down Records Founded (Date): 1995 Founders: Dru Ha & Buckshot Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): Founded by Buckshot and DruHa, Duck Down Records was conceptualized as an outlet for how they envisioned music to be created, managed and distributed. At the time, it was founded to give us an outlet for our music, without having to seek out deals or be salesmen for projects that we wanted to introduce, It was also the beginning of an era, where producers and hot artists were getting label deals that allowed them total control over their products and visions. Buckshot and Dru Ha formed Duck Down for that very reason. To date, Duck Down Records is the home to: Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, O.G.C., Ruste Juxx and BOOT CAMP CLIK. Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?): Duck Down’s proudest moment has to be the fact that we’ve been able to maintain our label now for over 10 years in a very tough market. We’ve seen extreme highs and also the lows, but through it all our artists have remained true to the Duck Down formula. Of course some of the other things we’re proud of is the over 4 million records sold in our 12-year history; the opportunity to work with hip hop heavyweights such as: Tupac (who we recorded an album with, entitled One Nation before his untimely death); Talib Kweli, Aaliyah, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, KRS One, M.O.P., Q-Tip, Raekwon and our current collaborations with the Justus League. Duck Down’s most notable releases are: Black Moon’s, “Enta Da Stage,” Smif N Wessun’s “ Da Shinin,” O.G.C.’s, “Da Storm,” Heltah Skeltah’s. “Nocturnal,” 9th Wonder and Buckshot’s, “Chemistry,” Sean Price’s, “Monkey Barz,” and Boot Camp Clik’s, “The Last Stand,” albums. One other amazing feat was just over a year ago in 2005, when we released Duck Down Record’s Triple Threat Summer. It Has 3 releases, Sean Price, “Monkey Barz” (May, 2005), 9th Wonder and Buckshot, “Chemistry” (July, 2005) and then Smif N Wessun, “Reloaded” (September, 2005). For an INDIE label or any label for that matter having 3 Full Length albums out in such a short period of time is a tough task, but it ended up being very successful for us and we earned the title of Top 5 Comebacks of the Year from HipHopSite.com. Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): Duck Down Record’s most current release is from our signature group, Boot Camp Clik (Great which consists of Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, O.G.C. and Heltah Skeltah. The new album, LAST STAND, was released this past summer (July 18th, 2006). The album features production from Pete Rock, Large Professor, Da Beatminerz, 9th Wonder, G-Unit’s, Ill Mind, Coptic and more. Our main priority, aside from continuing to promote BCC’s newest release, is Sean Price’s second solo effort, JESUS PRICE SUPASTAR, slated for a January 30th, 2007 release. Sean P!’s second album was produced mainly by 9th Wonder, and Khrysis, but also has production from MoSS, G-Unit’s Ill Mind, PF Cuttin and more. The album features Buckshot, of Black Moon, Rock, of Heltah Skeltah, Sadat X, Ruste Juxx, Steele (Of Smif N Wessun), Loud Mouf Choir, Skyzoo, and Phonte (Of Little Brother). There is a good amount of anticipation surrounding Sean Price’s second release, especially following his MONKEY BARZ LP, where Sean garnered Indie Artist of the Year honors from SOURCE Magazine and ALLHIPHOP.COM. The Savior Will Be Recognized January 30th. Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?): For Duck Down it’s about continuing to make good music and music that we believe in. In terms of an impact for us, it’s always trying to stay true to our core group of fans, and hopefully make enough noise to make some new ones along the way. In 2007 we’re looking to release at least 3 to 4 albums, which should keep Duck Down’s name in the mix. (Sean Price, “Jesus Price Supastar,” Heltah Skeltah, “D.I.R.T.,” Ruste Juxx, “Indestructable,” 9th Wonder and Buckshot, “The Formula.”) We are also looking to sign some new talent, and have had some discussions with members of the Justus League, and even KRS One. 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?): Well for starters, I guess we get classified as being an INDIE Label, meaning we don’t have the same MACHINE that a Def Jam, or J-Records may have. The good thing about being an independent record label is that we don’t have to rely on an individual or company to create, approve, or execute a plan. We have always taken pride in our ability to come up with creative and original marketing tactics, something that we are proud of and that we feel has always created a separation from our competition. At times we have had to cut corners in order to fund plans properly. However, continuing with grassroots tactics and a heavy presence, to this day we remain proud of how we run our Label. Our Personality in this game is like that smaller dog that actually thinks he’s the size of a rottweiler. We’re not going to be afraid of any challenge/obstacle or fear a major release that may coincide with one of our Indie releases. We have to just find ways to break through the clutter and make ourselves noticeable. So that means taking over the Web, hitting the streets with posterboard and finding new ways to publicize our artists and advertise their respective albums. CLICK HERE TO VIEW SEAN PRICES’ INTERVIEW CLICK HERE TO VIEW BUCKSHOTS’ INTERVIEW
Archive for the ‘News’ Category
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Since dropping his critically acclaimed debut album, Dead Ringer, in 2002 producer RJD2 went on to drop a couple of more albums and produce joints for Aceyalone, Soul Position and score a variety of video games and movies. Now he’s preparing to drop his new album, The Third Hand, on March 6. In an effort to curtail any bootlegging of the album, RJD2 said he will offer a bonus digital only EP for the fans who buy songs from independent records stores and iTunes. “All of these are going to be high quality mp3′s, as will be the iTunes album version of course,” RJD2 posted on his blog. “So why listen to an 8-bit low-res garbage-sounding ripped copy off some kid’s blog? In 2007, exclusive bonus cuts+good sound quality=the way to live. I truly think its worth your hard earned 10-15 bucks at the end of the day. sheeeeit, 9.99 for an album on itunes? You know you cant beat that!” Shortly after the album drops, RJD2 will head out on tour with a live band and DJ to give you a live version of his production. Here’s the current tour itinerary: 3.9.07 Wexner Center – Columbus OH 3.10.07 The Dame – Lexington KY 3.11.07 Exit In – Nashville TN 3.12.07 Revolution Music Room – Little Rock AR 3.13.07 Bricktown Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK 3.14.07 Haileys – Denton TX 3.16.07 Emo’s – Austin, TX 3.17.07 Warehouse Live – Houston TX 3.19.07 House of Blues – New Orleans LA 3.20.07 Variety Playhouse – Atlanta GA 3.21.07 Cats Cradle – Carrboro NC 3.22.07 Satellite Ballroom – Charlottesville VA 3.23.07 9:30 Club – Washington DC 3.24.07 Sonar – Baltimore MD 4.11.07 Starlight Ballroom – Philadelphia PA 4.12.07 The Crazy Donkey – Farmingdale NY 4.13.07 Webster Hall – New York NY 4.14.07 Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge MA 4.15.07 Pearl Street Nightclub – Northampton MA 4.16.07 La TuLipe – Montreal QC 4.17.07 Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto ON 4.18.07 Magic Stick – Detroit MI 4.19.07 Grog Shop – Cleveland Heights OH 4.20.07 Metro – Chicago IL 4.21.07 First Avenue – Minneapolis MN 4.22.07 The Picador (formerly Gabes Oasis) – Iowa City IA 4.23.07 Birdys – Indianapolis IN 5.10.07 Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO 5.11.07 Abbey Theatre, Durango, CO 5.12.07 The Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ 5.13.07 Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA 5.14.07 Henry Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA 5.15.07 Mezannine – San Francisco, CA 5.17.07 Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR 5.18.07 Neumos – Seattle, WA 5.19.07 The Nightlight Lounge – Bellingham, WA
By: Rizoh An unidentified man was injured at a recent Bone Thugs-N-Harmony concert. Fight broke out at the show, drawing the attention of law enforcement. The victim was hit in the head with a barstool and beaten unconscious, according to reports. The concert came to an abrupt halt, as authorities dispersed the crowd of about 1,500 people Friday night at the Warner Grand Theatre. The injured concertgoer was later treated at a hospital, but he wasn’t the only one having a unfavorable night. Another man who allegedly threw a punch at a police officer was cuffed for resisting arrest.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Last year, director Spike Lee got behind the camera to direct the pilot episode for the James Woods lead TV drama, “Shark” on CBS. It looks like he’ll be doing it again for an upcoming NBC pilot. Lee and his production company signed a deal with NBC last summer with hopes of putting together a TV drama based on New Orleans residents putting their lives back together after Hurricane Katrina. Ultimately, the idea was scrapped but NBC still wanted to work with Lee. Lee will direct the pilot for “M.O.N.Y. (Mayor of New York)”, a show about an average joe becoming the mayor of New York. The show was written my Tom Fontana (“Oz”, “Homicide: Life on the Street”) and director Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”, “Good Morning, Vietnam”). As far as movies for Lee, he recently signed on to direct the biopic of the life of James Brown. There’s no word on when production will start.
By: Rizoh G-Unit rapper Young Buck, known to his parents as David Darnell Brown, can’t seem to stay out of trouble these days. The 25-year old rapper was arrested over the weekend on an outstanding warrant for missing a court date. According to the Associated Press, a police officer noticed that Buck was weaving and bobbing in his Cadillac Escalade in Nashville and pulled him over for riding dirty. The arrest stemmed from a July 2006 incident, when he was caught driving on a suspended license. Although 50 Cent finally gave Buck some money to secure a valid license, his record reflected an outstanding warrant for last year’s citation. He was later released on $1,000 bond and is slated for a court appearance on February 27, 2007. Young Buck was in town to promote his upcoming sophomore album, Buck the World. “Get Buck,” the lead single from that album, is now available for your listening pleasure on our Audio page.
Label name: Fat Beats Records Founded (Date): Fat Beats launched a retail store in July 1994, in June of 2002 Fat Beats launched a record label with the release of Atmosphere’s God Loves Ugly. Founders: Joseph Abajian Backstory Fat Beats expanded their operations from 3 retails stores, an e-commerce site and independent distribution company with the launch of a record label through Sony/BMG distribution. Fred Feldman, a veteran in the music industry who ran Profile Records, later launched his own rock label Triple Crown Records and currently resides as the Vice President of East West/Warner Brothers was hired to oversee the start of the label and to hit the ground running. Fat Beats opted to start a label because we were working with at least a dozen artists who got signed to majors and consulting for some of the top independent labels, we felt like there was a lot of unappreciated talent out there that needed to be heard. Greatest Achievements We are proud of every record we release, but naturally it’s gratifying when you see a record really resonate with the fans. Some of our highlights include releasing Atmosphere’s first official album, Soul Position’s debut album, signing One Be Lo and releasing his debut solo album, signing Black Milk, and working with Timberland to create their first co-branded limited edition boot. Current and Future projects Black Milk – Popular Demand hits stores on 3.13.2007 – DON’T SLEEP!!! One Be Lo follows up on the critically acclaimed S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. with his sophomore release L.I.F.E. Akrobatik is back hot off his collaboration with Mr. Lif as the Perceptionists with a new album called Absolute Value set for a second quarter release. Last but not least Buffalo. NY natives Psuedo Slang come heavy with the jazz with their debut album We’ll Keep Looking. Goals and Purpose Our goal is to release good music that has a long shelf life. So many records come out, get purchased and quickly forgotten – we try to release records that are timeless. 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?): Fat Beats has a unique position due to our history in the independent hip-hop scene. We try to use our credibility and our reputation for doing good business to attract the most talented artist in the scene and to get their music to as many ears as possible. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BLACK MILK INTERVIEW
By: Rizoh Timz, an American-born rapper of Iraqi heritage, has unleashed a music video that’s sure to land him in some hot soup. The politically charged clip, titled “Dear Mr. George Bush,” rails against the U.S. government’s highly criticized involvement in the Iraq war. In the controversial video, Timz rhymes: “Look what they give us: blood from the world to fill up our rivers.” And “You killed my family, and I should say ‘thank you’? No thanks, you got your tanks, I got my gun…bring it on!” Elsewhere on the second verse, he raps: “Why do you insist to make a fool of us? For over 200 years… we stood for what’s good, now we despised by our peers; And what do you…but add fuel to the fire and send in more troops. Oh the troops God save the troops; it wasn’t their war their lies their fault. America the beautiful what did they do to you, they used you its so indisputable!” “Dear Mr. George Bush” is taken from Timz’s debut CD, Iraq. Watch Timz’s “Dear Mr. George Bush” video below:
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Hip-Hop has always worn its manhood on its sleeve. From proving how hard or gully you are to its sometimes misogynistic overtones along with its detestation of homosexuality. On February 20, PBS will air “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” a documentary directed by Byron Hurt looking at the gender roles within the hip-hop community. "In the past 20 years, hip-hop has become a critically acclaimed, billion-dollar industry," Hurt said. "How do black men feel about the representations of manhood in hip-hop? How do black women and men feel about the pervasive images of scantily clad and sexually objectified women in rap music and videos? What do today’s rap lyrics tell us about the collective consciousness of black men and women from the hip-hop generation? What does homoeroticism in hip-hop media look like? These are the types of questions I set out to explore in this film and to provide thoughtful dialogue from intelligent, divergent voices of rap artists, industry executives, rap fans and social critics from inside and outside the hip-hop generation." The film features exclusive interviews with Mos Def, Chuck D, Dead Prez, Busta Rhymes, Russell Simmons, Jadakiss, Michael Eric Dyson, KRS-One Sarah Jones and a host of others. Hip-Hop fans can have a chance to see the film before it airs on PBS in various free screenings in cities across the U.S. To see if there’s a free screening in your area, check this link: ITVS.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Late last year, Def Jux Records announced its partnership with mtvU to search for the best unsigned emcees, producers and bands to sign to its label and release an EP and record a song with Mr. Lif. For two months college kids around the world voted for their favorite unsigned college act on BestMusicOnCampus.com and Danny Swain also known as Danny!, had the most votes. Swain, hailing from the Savannah College of Art & Design, will now join up with the Def Jux heads and record an EP for release as well as collaboration with Mr. Lif. To check out what joints got Danny! the most votes, check out his profile at bestmusiconcampus.com. There’s no word on when his project will
By: Rizoh Hiphopcrack.com has learned that 81-year old jazz veteran B.B. King (aka Riley B. King) was hospitalized at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX. King’s sudden hospitalization led to the cancellation of a Grand Opera House performance previously slated for Thursday night. A nurse administrator revealed that the legendary singer was not in the intensive care unit and could be released on Friday or Saturday. B.B. King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last December for his musical accomplishments.
KOCH Records Founded (Date): A long time ago, but KOCH Records as it currently stands with a dedication to hip-hop has been around 6 years Founders: Michael Koch Backstory: Originally launched as a Distributor many years ago, KOCH Records started making a play for Hip-Hop when Alan Grunblatt joined the company 6 years ago. Greatest Achievements: To date…back-to-back #1 Radio charting records with UNK’s “Walk It Out” and Jim Jones’ “We Fly High.” First week sales of 106,000 units on Jim Jones was also a nice landmark given how difficult the retail climate has become. Also #1 Ringtone and video on MTV2 and B.E.T. on “We Fly High” was nice as well. Current and Future projects: Phase II of Jim Jones’ currently album Hustler’s P.O.M.E. which will continue to be a priority well into 2007. New projects from B.G. & The Chopper City Boyz, Prodigy, new DoggPound and much more to come Goals and Purpose: Looking for Gold/Platinum releases in every platform. CD sales, Ringtone sales, Digital Sales every which way we can get it! Within the Game: KOCH is the new paradigm that the majors are looking to save money. If you look around, a bunch of the “incubator” programs out there are modeled are what we’ve been doing for years now. We don’t need to sell 500,000 units to recoup. We want the artist to make money and we want to make money. If no one’s making money, what’s the point.
By: Rizoh West coast vet Snoop Dogg insists that he didn’t intend to murk anyone with the 21-inch collapsible baton he tried to smuggle aboard a plane last year. Snoop pled “not guilty” to a felony charge of weapons possession stemming from that incident. His lawyer, Donald Etra, made the plea on Snoop’s behalf yesterday (January 24), saying “the item was a movie prop.” And that Snoop never intended it to be used as anything other than a prop. According to People magazine, the 35-year old rapper could face up to three years in prison if convicted. You may recall that Snoop attempted to board a New York-bound plane with a collapsible baton last September. He later told sheriff’s deputies that the 21" baton was a prop for a movie he was filming in New York. Suuurre. In related news, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office is also considering whether to file charges against the rapper for two other arrests involving weapons and drugs.
By: Rizoh R&B singer Brandy Norwood was involved in a multiple-car accident that claimed the life of a 38-year old woman, according to reports. The accident allegedly occurred at 10:30 AM on December 30, 2006 on the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. While driving her 2007 Land Rover, Brandy accidentally struck a 2005 Honda in front of her, which in turn crashed into a 1989 Toyota. The 2005 Honda, driven by 38-year old Awatef Aboudihaj, then spun sideways and struck the center divider. As Aboudihaj’s Honda came to a halt, it was pummeled by an oncoming 1988 Acura. Aboudihaj was taken to a hospital, where she died of injuries, according to reports. Brandy, who went unscathed in the accident, was terribly disoriented after the accident. A witness who talked to TMZ.com claims that Brandy repeatedly blamed herself for the accident, even walking back and forth in front of speeding lanes. In a statement released through her publicist, Brandy also confirmed her involvement in the fatal car accident and wishes to publicly express her condolences to the family of the deceased.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Despite Snoop’s current legal woes (he pleaded innocent to charges of deadly weapons possession after he was stopped by airport security with what they said was a collapsible baton in his luggage), the rapper is still planning to host his annual Snoop Bowl in Miami during Super Bowl weekend. Snoop Bowl III will feature California’s Snoop Dogg All-Stars coached by Snoop against an All-Star South Florida team coached by Oakland Raider Zach Crockett, his brother, former Minnesota Viking, Henri Crockett and Green Bay Packer Al Harris. "This game is not only about working with the kids through football, and helping them learn all of the positive values that come with it, but it’s a way for the kids to see a different part of the country and to meet their peers from other places who are just like them," commented Snoop Dogg. "This game is all about the kids and making sure they know that we care and want to see them succeed both on the field and off." The game will take place on February 3 at the Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami and presented by Amp’d Mobile. Last year’s Snoop Bowl II entertained over 20,000 fans and raised more than $50,000 in charities. Snoop Dogg’s All-Stars won 31-6 over Detroit’s PAL All-Stars.
Label name: Quannum Projects Founded (Date): 1991 Founders: Blackalicious (Chief Xcel & Gift of Gab), Lyrics Born, Lateef the Truthspeaker and DJ Shadow. Backstory: The independent label Quannum Projects was first conceived in 1991 as a collective by the artists Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Lateef, Lyrics Born and the journalists DJ Zen (Jeff Chang) and Jazzbo (Joseph Patel), under the moniker “Solesides Records.” Now headquartered in San Francisco, Quannum has grown to be one of the nation’s leading independent labels, having sold over 2 million records since its inception. Before evolving into Quannum in 1997, Solesides released such seminal recordings as Shadow’s "Entropy" and Blackalicious’ "Alphabet Aerobics," as well as Latyrx’ "Lady Don’t Tek No" and "Balcony Beach," leading a wave of independent hip-hop from Northern California and beyond. Quannum then went on to massive grassroots success with the release of Blackalicious’ debut Nia in 2000. That same year marked the arrival of a new group into the Quannum fold, Portland’s Lifesavas, whose debut album Spirit in Stone quickly became a hip-hop classic. The collective earned critical and commercial success most recently with Lyrics Born’s masterpiece Later That Day… (2003) and the follow-up remix project Same !@#$ Different Day (2005), notably with the hit single “Callin’ Out.” The Quannum family has continued to expand with releases from such diverse artists as São Paulo’s Curumin, vintage keyboard guru General Elektriks, the electronic hip-hop duo Apsci, LA-based MC Pigeon John and the Bay Area’s own skateboarding legend Tommy Guerrero. The label has also secured numerous licensing deals and partnerships with companies such as Coca Cola, Motorola Toyota, Nike, Adidas, HBO, ESPN, EA Sports and the major motion pictures Abandon and Collateral Greatest Achievements : Our commitment to the preservation of quality music is our strongest achievement. In our 10+ years, we’ve built a strong core audience and introduced the world to Lyrics Born, Lifesavas, Pigeon John, Blackalicious and a plethora of quality music on our own terms. We are proud of every single release in our catalog. Current and Future projects: 2006 was a phenomenal year for us. We released 4 albums by new and classic Quannum artists including: Pigeon John And The Summertime Pool Party Honeycut The Day I Turned To Glass Tommy Guerrero from the soil to the soul Lyrics Born Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live! 2007 is primed to be another year of solid releases including the long awaited sophomore release from Lifesavas Gutterfly, to the debut album from Joyo Velarde, a new collabo project helmed by Lateef the Truthspeaker and Gift of Gab called Underdogs and a few other gems we’ll save for later! Goals and Purpose : First and foremost we are about quality hip-hop. We are at our core a hip-hop label that was founded in order to release a caliber of music that otherwise had no outlet to be heard. In the last 3 years, our catalog has grown to include other types of music that are not hip-hop in the traditional sense, but we’ve still maintained quality. Each and every release contains a level of musicality that can’t be found many other places. We hope to continue to grow and expand our roster to include other like-minded artists who share the Quannum aesthetic and commitment to quality. Within the Game : The game is constantly evolving and constantly changing. Definitions of what is hip-hop and what makes you relevant to the game is getting harder and harder to define. It goes without saying, that the beauty of hip-hop is the foundation upon which it sits; that being creativity and innovation. Quannum embraces this foundation to the fullest. That alone keeps us relevant in the game. It always has and it always will. CLICK HERE TO READ THEPIGEON JOHNINTERVIEW CLICK HERE TO READ THELIFESAVASINTERVIEW
iHipHop Blog Team