When talking about music the landscape has changed a lot in recent years especially in the label department with artists going the independent route like Curren$y or Chance the Rapper doing there thing without a label being examples. Labels have gotten a bad wrap for screwing artists over however there are phenomenal ones out here, we may not know the details about each but these are 5 that are on top of my list.
Started in 2004 & founded by Anthony Tiffith, Top Dawg Entertainment, they house 10 artist like Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, SZA, Lance Skiiiwalker, SiR, Reason and Zacari. Recently they had the championship tour which featured the entire label. In hindsight & looking at them from a broader view point each project that he been put out over time has been a success in terms of the artists that have from Jay to Q to K. Dot to SZA as examples. TDE is up there far as labels & the rosters of artists have proven that.
Founded by J Cole & Ibrahim Hamad it includes acts of , Bas, Cozz, Ari Lennox, omen, J.I.D, Lute, Earthang along with Cole. In a subjective sense they may have not blown up in the same way as TDE by comparison but like Cole and his talent there still there & you’re gradually hearing about them either way whether Ari with “Shea Butter Baby” or J.I.D commercial backing Westbrook’s Shoe Commercial & even J Cole with “Middle Child” . Even if as they go under radars sometimes their still butting out great work.
In the 90’s & 2000’s there were plenty of labels making a splash in the south during that time like Cash Money, Young Money, Def Jam South, or etc. The one I want to highlight is No Limit Records, Founded by Master P and changing names over the years when it was around there were making people say Uh for a while it was also a launching pad for the likes of Mystikal & others, there roster was huge.
If you grew up in Houston or Greater Houston you know about things like Rap A Lot Records, Screwed Up Click, Scarface (the artist not the movie), DJ Screw/June 27th & such, however the highlight of all this was Swisha House. Founded by Micheal Watts & Ron C the label is a big part of the H so much so they had air time on 97.9 the box on Sunday’s. It was born out of the chopped & screwed and even had a hand in notable projects by Paul Wall, Lil Keke, & Mike Jones to many a few.
Founded by Kanye West in 2004 and the acronym meaning “Getting Out Our Dreams” it has put out projects the likes of Big Sean, Pusha T (who is the current president), Teyana Taylor, & many more. Heck Ye even did a thing called “Good Friday” releasing music free for a limited time. They’ve done some great work that can’t be denied.