Hip Hop Chain, a new Atlanta-based hip hop record label, is only the latest outlet for an underground movement that has been growing in popularity in recent years. The Style Bender Crew, which consists of DJs Illmaculate, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock, as well as producer Nobody, has been credited with helping to revive the boom bap genre of hip hop.
As Hip Hop Chain gears up to release its first album later this year, we asked the founder and C.E.O. Juaquin Hawkins about the challenges of starting a hip-hop record label in today's market.
According to Hawkins
The most considerable difficulty we face is getting our music heard by influential people. Although there are many excellent independent labels, it can be challenging to stand out in the crowd. Hawkins believes Hip Hop Chain can make a difference because of its unique approach to marketing and distribution. "Our model isn't typical," he said. "We don't do traditional advertising or rely on CD sales to generate revenue. We're all about building an engaged fan base."
What is The Family O.T.F.?
The Group O.T.F. is a Bronx-based hip-hop trio of brothers, cousins, and pals. "Raise awareness and cash for youth in need" is the group's stated mission. They have played at venues like the Apollo Theater and Lincoln Center, and in October 2012, their debut album, "O.T.F.," was made available.
History of The Family O.T.F.
The Family O.T.F. is a hip hop group from the Bronx, New York. The group was formed in 1990 by brothers O.T.F. (Omar Toledo), Lord Finesse (Lamont Franklin), and M.O.P. 's (Monte Moore) eldest brother, Illa J (Illa J). The Family O.T.F.'s early work ethic and street-smart lyrics won them a following among young Bronx residents. After signing to the Columbia label in 1993, they released their first album, Hard Times... Real World Recordings.
The album went platinum and spawned the single "Who Killed Jam Master Jay?" featured in the hit movie Men in Black II. The Family O.T.F. continued to release albums throughout the '90s, including 1995's Life of an Outlaw and 1997's Face Off. In 2002, they released their most famous album, Hell on Earth...
In 2006, The Family O.T.F. reunited for a tour celebrating their 20th anniversary as a group. However, They have since dismissed two more albums: 2009's Once Again... The Family and 2013's The Last Great American Rap Album.
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