Up until very recently, it used to be in Rap music, that if you were a successful athlete (mostly football and basketball) or you became a successful rapper you would eventually end up having your own “label”. I put “” around label because there are so many rappers and athletes who have or had “labels” that never actually released any projects.
Also a good majority of the labels that are owned by rappers that do put out projects, are really just imprints on bigger labels. Something that the major label gave the rapper to make him happy and potentially get extra return on their investment in case one of the rappers friends also blew up. Think Chief Keef’s initial deal or Asap Rocky’s deal.
There have also been rappers who have been able to create legitimate imprints and independent labels. Examples include Wayne, Master P, Slug, and Juicy J. For the most part, it’s always been a rappers game for the most part, and now it seems producers are getting in on the label game as well.
It isn’t unheard of for a producer to have a label of course; examples include:
- Jermaine Dupri
- Mr. Collipark (soulja boy, V.I.C., Ying Yang Twins)
- DJ Drama / Don Cannon (Lil Uzi Vert)
- Dr. Dre
- Mike Will Made It ( Rae Sremmurd)
But now the younger generation of producers are starting labels as well. You’ve most likely heard that Metro Boomin and Sonny Digital both have record labels but it’s spreading farther than that. Recently, Taz Taylor turned his Internet Money crew / brand into a record label. Then just now (15 minutes ago) Menace, the producer famously known for producing Panda, just announced that he started his own label; Audio Mafia Records. With the advance of technology and the prerequisites / costs of starting a record label diminishing, doors are opening for producers and others.
I say others because Adam22 the vlogger / blogger / YouTube personality behind the brand NoJumper, recently announced that NoJumper has a label now as well. They recently released their first track distributed under the label;
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