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Republic Taps Sam Taylor to Head Hip-Hop/R&B A&R

Since joining the label last year, Taylor has been working with Stevie Wonder and helped drive the Kirk Franklin-Lil Baby collaboration "We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy)."

Just over a year after joining Republic Records as executive vp A&R, Sam Taylor has been named head of the label’s hip-hop and R&B A&R department, the company announced Tuesday (Dec. 14).

With the new promotion, Taylor both specifies the genres he oversees and will lead all the department’s initiatives. According to a press release, Taylor was the executive behind the Kirk FranklinLil Baby collaboration “We Win (Space Jam: A New Legacy),” which was nominated for a Grammy for best contemporary Christian music performance/song, and has been working alongside Stevie Wonder on new music.

“Sam understands the culture of hip-hop and R&B at a core level,” Republic co-founder Avery Lipman said in a statement. “He really has an incredible ear for talent and the rare ability to not just spot the next wave, but actually instigate it.” Added Wendy Goldstein, recently promoted to co-president of the label and to whom Taylor reported as executive vp A&R, “What Sam has done in the past year is nothing short of incredible. He brought an amazing amount of energy to our A&R department with a fresh perspective. He’s the perfect choice to take charge of our hip-hop and R&B roster, and this is the beginning of a really exciting new chapter for Republic Records.”

Prior to joining Republic in October 2020, Taylor spent four years as executive vp creative at Kobalt, where he signed Roddy Ricch and Gunna, worked with Raphael Saadiq and played a key role orchestrating both Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars” and the Lamar song “Alright” with Pharrell Williams. He’s also worked at Elektra, Atlantic, Warner Chappell Music Publishing, Sony Music Publishing and EMI Music Publishing.

Republic’s roster of hip-hop and R&B artists includes the likes of superstars Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj as well as relative newcomers Coi Leray, G Herbo, Lil Tecca, Jacquees, Kiana Ledé and Kash Doll, as well as the estate of Pop Smoke, among others.

“Wendy, Monte [Lipman] and Avery exhibit the utmost level of leadership, passion and dedication to the artists,” Taylor said in a statement. “I’ll always do the best I can to uphold the legacy they’ve built at the label. I want to build and lead the hip-hop/R&B A&R team to add to Republic’s already great history.”