This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Distributor(s)|| Priority Records (1999-2002)|
MCA Records (2002-2003)
Geffen Records (2004)
RED Distribution (2006-2007)
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Location||New York City|
Rawkus Records was an American hip hop record label known for starting the careers of many rappers. Rawkus started in 1995 with releases in hip-hop, drum and bass and fun-dustrial (Dystopia One).
Label heads Brian Brater and Jarret Myer then signed some of the top underground talent from the New York area, notably Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek and Company Flow, who went on to define the label's sound. The string of 12" releases and full-length albums that followed helped initiate a resurgence in the New York/East Coast sound. Many of these are considered classics among hip-hop aficionados. During the mid to late 1990s, Rawkus became a dominant label in the underground hip-hop scene, producing a string of gold albums and a platinum album.
Rawkus Records was established in 1995 by Brian Brater and Jarret Myer, with financial backing from James Murdoch,son of Rupert Murdoch. In 1996, Rupert Murdoch bought a majority of Rawkus. In 1999 the label entered into a distribution deal with Priority Records.
Over the years, Rawkus recorded several notable independent hip hop artists,including Reflection Eternal, Company Flow, the High and Mighty, Mos Def and Talib Kweli (as Blackstar), Eminem, Common, Pharoahe Monch and Skillz.
In 2002, Rawkus signed a joint venture deal with MCA. Soon after, MCA folded and Interscope/Geffen bought Rawkus. After the sale of its catalog in 2004, Rawkus split from Geffen.
In 2006, Rawkus signed with RED, a Sony Music distribution company and reemerged with a new line up of notable independent hip hop artists.
In early 2007, Rawkus Records accepted album submissions from Hip Hop artists, known or unknown, to be considered for their new campaign. The 50 artists chosen to wear the Rawkus 50 badge were signed to a digital distribution deal through IODA's (Independent Online Distribution Alliance) digital distribution network and had their albums released under the banner "Rawkus 50 presents". Among the 50 were artists including Custom Made, L.E.G.A.C.Y. and Pizon.
The "Rawkus 50" marketing campaign saw the release of fifty digital hip-hop albums. They were all made available on 27 November 2007.
Tony Cottrell, better known as Hi-Tek, is an American rapper and record producer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He is best known for his work with Talib Kweli. His father is singer Willie Cottrell of the Willie Cottrell Band, whom Hi-Tek featured on his second album, Hi-Teknology 2.
Reflection Eternal is an American hip hop duo composed of emcee Talib Kweli and producer Hi-Tek. They released their first album, Train of Thought, in 2000. They have since released a mixtape, The RE: Union, in late December 2009, and their second album Revolutions Per Minute was released May 18, 2010.
Quality is the debut studio album by American rapper Talib Kweli. The album was released on November 19, 2002, by Rawkus Records. It received wide critical acclaim and had some commercial appeal from the song "Get By", produced by Kanye West. Kludge magazine included it on their list of best albums of 2002.
Lamont Dorrell, known as Ayatollah, is a hip-hop record producer from Queens, New York who has produced for predominantly New York-based rappers including Mos Def, Talib Kweli, R.A. The Rugged Man, Tragedy Khadafi, Wordsworth, Vast Aire, Afu-Ra, Guru, M.O.P., Inspectah Deck, Cormega, Ghostface Killah as well as many others. R.A. the Rugged Man had said in an interview that he was the first person to ever buy a beat from Ayatollah. Broadly speaking Ayatollah's production encompasses a soulful, authentic east coast hip-hop sound which has brought him steady success and acclaim since the late 1990s.
Black Star is an American hip hop duo formed in 1997, from Brooklyn, New York City, New York. The duo is composed of rappers Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli. The duo is named after The Black Star Line, a shipping company founded by Marcus Garvey. They have released a number of singles and one album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star on September 29, 1998.
Soundbombing III is the third installment of the Rawkus Records Soundbombing series. The album was not nearly as critically acclaimed as its predecessor Soundbombing 2, but was able to sell moderately well, led by the single "The Life", featuring Styles P and Pharoahe Monch which was sent to radio during the week of April 29, 2002. Taking after 2000's Lyricist Lounge 2, Soundbombing III furthers the label's transition to a more commercial sound, which caused harsh criticisms from die-hard Rawkus fans. The album features Styles P, Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, Skillz, Missy Elliott, Kool G Rap, Capone-N-Noreaga, Hi-Tek, Jonell, Method Man, Zap Mama, Talib Kweli, Common, Q-Tip, The Beatnuts, DJ Quik, Novel, The Roots, Cocoa Brovaz, Dawn Penn and R.A. The Rugged Man. The compilation is hosted by Cipha Sounds and Mr. Choc. The compilation contains many remixes of tracks already having appeared on earlier released albums, however the album does contain singles.
Best of Decade I: 1995–2005 is a compilation album, featuring singles released on Rawkus Records during their first ten years. The compilation revolves around the label's star Mos Def, who appears on eight of the fifteen tracks. There is one previously unreleased track featured on the album, which is the Mos Def song "Beef".
Hi-Teknology is the debut album from producer Hi-Tek, released on Rawkus Records. Most songs feature rapping or singing by other artists, and all are produced by Hi-Tek. A sequel, Hi-Teknology 2, was made for MCA Records but never released; a second Hi-Teknology 2 was recorded and released on Babygrande Records.
Anwar Superstar, born Anwar Khalil Prescott, is an American hip hop artist. He began rapping at the age of 14 on the streets of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Anwar has battled MCs from across the US and abroad.
Train of Thought is the debut album of American hip hop duo Reflection Eternal, released October 17, 2000 on Rawkus Records. Collaborating as a duo, rapper Talib Kweli and DJ and hip hop producer Hi-Tek recorded the album during 1999 to 2000, following their individual musical work that gained notice in New York's underground scene during the late 1990s. Kweli had previously worked with rapper Mos Def as the duo Black Star, and Hi-Tek had served as producer on the duo's debut album.
"Respiration" is the second single from Black Star's eponymously titled 1998 album. It features guest rapping from Common and guitar playing by DeChown Jenkins. It also features a Hi-Tek produced beat that samples "The Fox" by Don Randi. In addition, the song's introduction samples a monologue from the hip hop documentary Style Wars. It is found on Best of Decade I: 1995-2005, a compilation of Rawkus Records' best songs. It can also be found on Howie B's compilation album Another Late Night: Howie B. The single reached #54 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
The discography of Yasiin Bey / Mos Def, an American rapper, consists of four solo albums, two compilation albums, and several singles. Mos Def began his hip hop career in 1994 in the underground rap group UTD alongside his sibling group members DCQ and Ces, after which he pursued a solo career. In 1998, he made his mainstream debut on Rawkus Records in the trio Black Star with rapper Talib Kweli and producer Hi-Tek. "Definition", the single from Black Star's self-titled debut album, reached #60 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Hot Rap Singles chart.
Marcus Vialva, better known by his stage name Shabaam Sahdeeq, is an alternative hip hop artist from Brooklyn, New York. He first reached fame with Rawkus Records and was featured alongside artists including Busta Rhymes, Redman, Method Man, Kool G Rap, Common, Mos Def and Eminem. Shabaam Sahdeeq is notable for his work on the Soundbombing and Lyricist Lounge series in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. In 1998, Sahdeeq collaborated with DJ Spinna, Mr. Complex and Apani B to form the hip-hop collective Polyrhythm Addicts, a supergroup renowned for its pivotal role in the explosion of late 1990s indie hip-hop. The single "Not Your Ordinary: gained a positive critical and commercial reception, which paved the way for their first album, Rhyme Related, released in 1999, and widely regarded as a hip-hop classic. After this success, the group disbanded to focus on their individual careers. Sahdeeq's distinct voice and unique delivery catapulted him to mainstream stardom on the "Simon Says" Remix alongside label mate Pharoahe Monch. He is currently releasing music independently. Shabaam Sahdeeq's recent work has been receiving rave reviews in some of the biggest hip-hop publications.
Revolutions per Minute is the second studio album by American hip hop duo Reflection Eternal, released May 18, 2010, on Blacksmith Records and Rawkus Records. Composed of rapper Talib Kweli and DJ/hip hop producer Hi-Tek, it is the duo's follow-up to their collaborative debut Train of Thought (2000).
D. (Derick) Prosper began his career as a poet on the NPS National Poetry Slam circuit. He won several regional competitions and featured on the 1994 Providence Poetry Slam Team. D. Prosper was the youngest poet featured on the tour. He ranked fourth in the nation at the NPS finals in Asheville, North Carolina. Prosper was also featured in respected publication Fast Folk Music Magazine. He eventually earned a coveted spot on the 1994 Lollapalooza Tour D. Prosper's love of spoken word poetry ignited his passion for hip-hop music.
Talib Kweli Greene is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and activist. Kweli earned recognition early on through his collaboration with fellow Brooklyn rapper Mos Def, when they formed the group Black Star. Kweli's musical career continued with solo success including collaborations with producers and rappers Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Pharrell Williams. His most recent solo album is titled Radio Silence, released in 2017. In 2011, Kweli founded his own record label, Javotti Media.
"Just Begun" is a song by American hip hop duo Reflection Eternal, composed of New York rapper Talib Kweli and Ohio producer Hi-Tek. The song was released on February 2, 2010, as the second single from their second studio album Revolutions per Minute (2010). The song is a posse cut featuring verses from rappers Jay Electronica, J. Cole and Mos Def, the latter of which also forms a duo with Talib Kweli, known collectively as Black Star.
Soundbombing is a hip hop compilation album by Rawkus Records, released on October 14, 1997. The album helped launch the careers of Mos Def and Reflection Eternal, who later became Rawkus's most popular artists. Soundbombing is regarded as a "scene-defining" underground hip hop album.