Unfolding the true stories behind hip-hop’s iconic labels. That’s the intriguing premise of BET’s latest docu-series, Inside the Label. The eight-week series will premiere with an in-depth look at Uptown Records on May 17 (9 p.m. ET/PT).
Founder Andre Harrell will be among the industry insiders providing first-hand accounts of Uptown’s evolution, impact and legacy. Among others sharing their perspective: Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Guy’s Teddy Riley and Damion Hall. Subsequent one-hour episodes will focus on the labels Grand Hustle, Loud Records, Slip-N-Slide, Terror Squad, Ruff Ryders, Disturbing Tha Peace (DTP) and Murder Inc.
Rounding out the first-person narratives in the hour-long episodes will be never-before-seen footage. Announced at last year’s upfront presentations, Inside the Label (formerly The Label) is executive produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions and DTP co-founders Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Bridges’ manager Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon.
“The dreams and visions; the successes and failures … we want young aspiring entrepreneurs to have a blueprint as to what really goes on in this business and understand how much work it takes,” says DTP’s Dixon of the inspiration behind the series. “We [as African-Americans] also want to document our own history, especially in this industry. This is like our natural resource. No one can tell these stories like us.”
Among the power players featured in each episode of Inside the Label are:
Uptown Records: Andre Harrell, Diddy, Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, Babyface, Teddy Riley, Damion Hall, Brett Ratner, Laurieann Gibson, Robin Thicke, Sanaa Lathan, Doug E. Fresh, Al B. Sure, Eddie F, Kim Porter, Father MC, Jeff Redd and Monifah.
Grand Hustle: T.I., Jason Geter, Young Dro, Kevin Liles, Lil Duval, Killer Mike, DJ Toomp and B.O.B.
Loud Records: Steve Rifkind, RZA, Xzibit and E-Swift.
Slip-N-Slide Records: Ted Lucas, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, Trina and DJ Khaled.
Terror Squad: Fat Joe, DJ Khaled, Noreaga, Cool & Dre and Jesse Terrero.
Ruff Ryders: Joaquin Dean, Darren Dean, Chivon Dean, Swizz Beatz, Eve, The Lox, Irv Gotti, Drag On, DJ Clue, Kool Herc, Lyor Cohen and Jimmy Iovine.
Disturbing Tha Peace: Ludacris, Chaka Zulu, Jeff Dixon, Chingy, Bobby Valentino, Shareefa, Lil Scrappy, Bangladesh, Lil Fate, I-20 and Poon Daddy.
Murder Inc.: Irv Gotti, Ashanti, Ja Rule, Jay-Z, Charlie Baltimore, Kevin Liles and Lyor Cohen.