|Tommy Boy Entertainment|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Official website|| www|
Tommy Boy Entertainment is an American independentrecord label and multimedia brand founded in 1981 by Tom Silverman. The label is credited with launching the music careers of Queen Latifah, Afrika Bambaataa, Digital Underground, De La Soul, House of Pain, Naughty By Nature, and Force MDs. Tommy Boy is also credited with introducing genres such as EDM, Latin freestyle, and Latin hip hop to mainstream audiences in America.
Tom Silverman created Tommy Boy Music in 1981 in his New York City apartment with a $5,000 loan from his parents. The label was an outgrowth of Silverman's Dance Music Report bi-weekly publication, which spanned 14 years, beginning in September 1978.
In 1985, Warner Bros. Records entered into a partnership with Tommy Boy and acquired half of the label, and it allowed the label to use independent distribution as it saw fit, with the option to distribute artists through the major-label channel through Warner Bros. Records or sister label Reprise Records.
A white female executive named Monica Lynch was president of the label in 1993, who was one of the first employees hired by Tom Silverman.As A&R for the label she signed and managed Queen Latifah, De La Soul, and host of hip hop musicians.
Even though the male–female power struggle in hip hop music has always been present, Lynch and her peers said that the early days of hip hop were magical times for women looking to make it in the record business. Julie Greenwald, Sylvia Robinson, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Mona Scott, and Claudine Joseph also made their mark on different areas of hip-hop. Greenwald and Robinson, like Lynch, became powerful music executives. For more than 25 years, DJ Jazzy Joyce has been one of the most visible and in-demand female turntablists. And Scott and Joseph have managed the careers of some of the biggest names in hip-hop. “Hip-hop provided a tremendous amount of opportunities for women, which might seem antithetical because of the association that many people have with misogyny and hip-hop,” says Lynch. “There has been a lot of attention paid to misogynist lyrics in hip-hop over the years, and I’m not going to defend or damn it. I think it exists, but some of the people who helped put those records out were women.”
According to Jeff "Chairman" Mao, a key DJ in 1990s underground hip-hop and online hip-hop radio host, Monica Lynch managed the careers of Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force, Stetsasonic, Queen Latifah, De La Soul, Naughty by Nature among others.
The label had several joint ventures in the mid 1990s including Penalty Recordings,Stepsun, Beyond, and Ignition. The label also had deals with labels such as Timber Records and distribution deals with Outcaste Records and 75 Ark, while also giving independent distribution to sister imprints that already had label deals with WEA, including American Recordings’ Ill Labels, Mute Records’ NovaMute, and Cold Chillin Records’ Livin’ Large.
In 1997, Tommy Boy launched an imprint label called Upaya to pursue the growing interest in spirituality and spiritual/world music.The imprint Tommy Boy Gospel was launched in 1998 under the direction of Max Seigel and Marvie Wright. That same year, the imprints Tommy Boy Black Label, which specialized in underground hip hop music, and Tommy Boy Silver Label, which specialized in dance music, were founded.
In 2001, while still affiliated with Warner Music, Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman formed Tommy Boy Films, a TV and film division with Kung Faux creator and Dubtitled Entertainment founder, Michael "Mic" Neumann.
In 2002, Tommy Boy Records became independent again after it ultimately ended its joint venture with Warner Bros. Records, which wanted greater unit sales, and the master tapes released until that time became property of Warner Music, while the Tommy Boy trademark remained with Tom Silverman.The then-current Tommy Boy music artists were shopped to the various WEA labels, the Tommy Boy television and film divisions were merged with the Tommy Boy music division, and the resulting company was rebranded as Tommy Boy Entertainment. Tommy Boy then began licensing its trademark to Warner Music for use on reissues through Rhino/Atlantic Records.
Because of Warner Music’s divestment requirements as a result of its purchase of Parlophone, Tommy Boy was able to reacquire its pre-2002 catalogue and the catalogues of Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, and Club Nouveau.
Controversy rose in early 2019, after Tommy Boy announced that the catalog of its formerly signed group De La Soul would be available on streaming services later that week. This announcement prompted the group to begin a "Tommy Boycott" campaign, due to the fact that they would receive only 10% of revenue generated by streams, with the other 90% going to Tommy Boy. The campaign was shared by their fellow artists Nas, Questlove and Pete Rock, among others. In response, Tommy Boy postponed the deal and announced their discography would not be available on streaming services as previously scheduled.
The Tommy Boy logo was originally designed in 1982 by Steven Miglio and redesigned in 1989 by Eric Haze. The logo was named on Complex's list of the 50 Greatest Rap Logos of all time, coming in at number nine.
In the late 1980s, with the emergence of streetwear fashion, Tommy Boy produced and distributed Carhartt jackets embroidered with its logo on the front and back for its own merchandise line called Tommy Boy Gear.Tommy Boy is also credited as the first to use lanyards as promotional items, which became a popular streetwear fashion accessory in the 1990s.
Dana Elaine Owens, known professionally as Queen Latifah, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and released her debut album All Hail the Queen on November 28, 1989, featuring the hit single "Ladies First". Nature of a Sista' (1991) was her second and final album with Tommy Boy Records.
American Recordings is an American record label headed by producer Rick Rubin. The label has featured artists such as Slayer, the Black Crowes, ZZ Top, Danzig, Trouble, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, The Mother Hips, and System of a Down.
De La Soul is an American hip hop trio formed in 1988 in the Amityville area of Long Island, New York. They are best known for their eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap and alternative hip hop subgenres. The members are Posdnuos, Trugoy and Maseo. The three formed the group in high school and caught the attention of producer Prince Paul with a demo tape of the song "Plug Tunin'". With its playful wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the band's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, has been called "a hip hop masterpiece."
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Def Jam Recordings is a multinational record label based in Manhattan. Def Jam has focused predominantly on hip hop, pop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group. In the UK, the label was known as Def Jam UK and was operated through EMI Records, while in Japan, it is known as Def Jam Japan, operating through Universal Music Japan. The label distributes releases of various record labels, including Kanye West's GOOD Music, and Listen Up Forever Records, headed by producer, Ronny J. Current artists include Justin Bieber, Logic, Big Sean, Kanye West, Nas, 2 Chainz, Teyana Taylor, YG, Dave East, Jeezy, Jeremih, Valee, Pusha T, Amir Obè, Fabolous, Krept and Konan, Desiigner, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Nasty C.
"Renegades of Funk" is a song written by Afrika Bambaataa, Arthur Baker, John Miller & John Robie and recorded by Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force. Released in 1983 as a single on the Tommy Boy label, it was also included on the 1986 album Planet Rock: The Album. The song is an eclectic fusion of electronic music and heavy percussion, with politically fused hip hop lyrics that draw a connection between past revolutionaries and bohemians to present-day street artists. It was produced and mixed by Arthur Baker and John Robie. Mastering was by Herb Powers Jr..
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Tom Silverman is an American entertainment executive. He is most notable for founding the pioneering hip-hop and electro-funk music label, Tommy Boy Records, now known as Tommy Boy Entertainment.
"Planet Rock" is a song by the American hip hop artists Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force. The song was produced by Arthur Baker and released by Tommy Boy Records in 1982. The recording came together after DJ and producer Baker met with Bambaataa and the two bonded over the idea of creating a song about their mutual appreciation for the band Kraftwerk. Baker and Bambaataa had worked together previously on the song "Jazzy Sensation," and decided to compose a more electronic based version of the hip hop song, as opposed to the more disco-oriented work popular at the time. Along with musician John Robie, the group recorded the single at Intergalactic Studios in New York. Robie duplicated the sound on the record and had Bambaataa's rappers in the Soul Sonic Force rap over it. To create the raps, the lyricist of the group, Emcee G.L.O.B.E., had to develop a style he called "mc popping", which involved rapping off time, an unusual style at the time.
"Looking for the Perfect Beat" is a song by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force. The song was produced by Arthur Baker and John Robie and was the follow-up track for the group following "Planet Rock". The track took much longer to develop than "Planet Rock" with Baker experimenting with cocaine and the pressure involved with creating a follow-up single. The group was developed for months in Robie's apartment while Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force were touring.
Nature of a Sista' is the second studio album by American rapper Queen Latifah. Released on September 3, 1991, it served as a follow-up to her 1989 debut album All Hail the Queen and was her final album with Tommy Boy Records. Latifah was an executive producer for Nature of a Sista' alongside American producer Shakim Compere. Although predominantly a hip hop album, it includes elements of reggae, jazz, R&B, new jack swing, and house music. The lyrics of the album's songs revolve around gender politics and romance. While discussing the album's overall style, Latifah said she moved away from hardcore hip hop to experiment with other music genres and have more creative control over her work.
Paul Winley Records Inc. was a doo-wop record label founded in 1956 that in 1979 became one of the earliest hip hop labels. It was situated on 125th Street, Harlem, New York City. Winley released doo-wop by The Paragons and The Jesters, and hip hop records by Paul Winley's daughters, Tanya and Paulette, produced by Winley's wife, Ann. The label can lay claim to a number of firsts: one of the earliest rock and roll compilations, one of the earliest breaks compilations, an early solo female rap artist and an early instance of social commentary in rap. Winley was also the first label to record one of hip hop's most important figures, Afrika Bambaataa.
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Monica Lynch is a music business executive, record producer, and former President of hip-hop/dance music label Tommy Boy Records. She has hosted radio programs on free-form WFMU since 1997, and worked as an A&R consultant for Queen Latifah and Martina McBride.