Rawkus Records, the famed hip-hop label that was once home to Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Company Flow, has resurfaced via a long-term distribution agreement with RED Distribution.
Rawkus Records, the famed hip-hop label that was once home to Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Company Flow, has resurfaced via a long-term distribution agreement with RED Distribution. Rawkus co-president Brian Brater says the label has signed to the independent distribution division of Sony BMG for three years.
Rawkus has been without a home since its joint-venture with Geffen Records ended last year. Earlier this year, Brater says Rawkus completed a sale of its catalog to the Universal Music Group, and he says the label will spend the next few months concentrating on signing new artists. Brater hopes to have at least two albums out by years end.
"Rawkus today represents progressive black music," Brater says. "That's what I'm into, and that's what's [co-president] Jarret [Myer] is into. It's hip-hop, and it's more than that. I want Rawkus to represent what all these rock independents represent."
Brater and Myer are currently managing Los Angeles-based hip-hop collective Sa-Ra Creative Partners, who recently signed with Kanye West's Columbia imprint G.O.O.D. Records. Brater says Sa-Ra will produce albums for the rejuvenated Rawkus. Additionally, Brater says the label will issue an album from Plant Life, who Brater describes as a "hip-hop-inflected classic funk group."