Over the last several months, L.A. Reid has been hard at work establishing his newest endeavor, Hitco Entertainment. The independent label, founded by the former Epic Records chairman/CEO alongside entrepreneur Charles Goldstuck, has been staffing up while signing about 15 artists, including Big Boi, DJ Holiday and Dinah Jane.
New York City got its first taste of what Hitco has to offer Thursday night at their showcase, The Hit List. Hosted by 1AM Entertainment CEO, YesJulz, the event was a festive affair that featured a snow cone station, a spread of hors d’oeuvres, free Hitco-branded portable cell phone chargers, and performances by several Hitco artists including Light Skin Keisha, Coca Vango, Brianna and more.
Draped in a white button-down shirt, dark colored pants and his trademark glasses, L.A. Reid appeared in good spirits, dancing to the tunes of his roster and taking pictures with several people in and around the VIP area. One of those artists, Klondike Blondie, spoke to Billboard about being apart of Hitco Entertainment. “Working with L.A. is so crazy and very lively, it’s really insane getting to work with a legend like him. Everyday I’m just like, wow, this is really a dream come true,” said Blondie. “He makes the vibe at Hitco feel more like a family than just a label. He keeps us motivated – even though it’s business as usual, the family is there.”
Taking place in the intimate confines of the Highline Ballroom, Hitco invited a bevy of industry tastemakers, music executives, and fans. “I’m just super excited to hear new music from the new talent. Just looking at L.A.’s track record of finding incredible talent, he’s always worked with amazing artists,” said radio DJ Zane Lowe. “He has this magic touch, and for me being a music person and being obsessed with it, I’m always looking for people who understand and appreciate music to find out what they’re working on. L.A. Reid is one of those people.”
Atlanta record producer Jazze Pha, whose artists all performed Thursday night, revealed to Billboard his connection to HitCo: “Me and L.A. have a joint venture on Hitco. We have a long relationship from Ciara to Jeezy so we’ve just been doing a lot of deals,” Jazze said. “Seeing my artists perform is always a good feeling. They all have different stories, voices, goals, and everything. This is just the beginning.”
As the showcase was nearing its end, the event quickly turned into a full-blown party as DJ Odalys provided a soundtrack that got everyone in attendance to turn up. Some people managed to get on stage to partake in a Harlem Shake battle while others engaged in a twerk session to Juvenile’s “Back Dat Azz Up.” People couldn’t help themselves from letting loose to Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode,” including YesJulz, joining the crowd when Sheck Wes’ “Mo Bamba” blasted through the speakers. Once everyone got their fix in, the showcase continued with closing performances by Hitco signees DJ Holiday and Yella Beezy.
Reid, who exited Epic last year following a sexual harassment claim by a former assistant, has avoided interviews since, and declined to be interviewed at the event.