UNIVERSAL RECORDS INKS VENTURE WITH FORMER LOUD RECORDS FOUNDER STEVE RIFKIND
Urban Music Pioneer Partners with Universal to form Street Records Corporation (SRC) First Release by David Banner Already Causing Waves at Radio
Urban Music Pioneer Partners with Universal to form Street Records Corporation (SRC)
First Release by David Banner Already Causing Waves at Radio
New York, New York, March 6, 2003 – Universal Records has inked an exclusive venture with urban music pioneer and former Loud Records founder Steve Rifkind to form Street Records Corporation (SRC), it was announced today by Mel Lewinter, Chairman of Universal Motown Records Group, and Rifkind.
“Steve is the embodiment of the true entrepreneur,” stated Lewinter. “As one of the architects of modern urban music, his track record for discovering and developing artists from the ground up is extraordinary. We are thrilled to be in business with him.”
“In searching for the right partner for SRC, I knew that I didn’t want to be a part of a company that was already set in its ways,” commented Rifkind. “The immediate vibe I got from Doug Morris (Chairman, Universal Music Group), Mel, Monte Lipman (President of Universal Records) and Kedar Massenburg (President & CEO, Motown Records) was that they are determined to continue building a great label, and this agreement will allow us to take SRC to the next level, while preserving the integrity and credibility of our artists.”
Up first from SRC/Universal will be the highly anticipated debut of platinum-selling producer David Banner (due April 29). Best known for creating hits for such superstars as Trick Daddy, Pastor Troy, Snoop Dogg and Lil Flip, among others, Banner is one of the rare few producers in urban music who can also rap. Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, he has quickly built an incredible name for himself throughout the South with both radio play and retail sales for the past 3 years. In the past 2 months alone, Banner’s debut single featuring Lil Flip, “Like A Pimp,” has been blowing up the airwaves in the South to reach an unprecedented 500 BDS radio spins coming from just a handful of stations.
Rifkind first leaped into music history when, through his family’s label (Spring Records), he helped release FatBack Band’s “King Tim III,” the first hip-hop record ever. Keeping his ear finely in tune with the pulse of the streets, he began marketing hip-hop acts like Leaders of the New school, Brand Nubian and Tone Loc, and in the process, became the architect of the modern street team. In 1989, Rifkind took this concept a step further and launched his own consulting firm, the Steven Rifkind Company, trademarking the term “street team.” Through it, Rifkind attracted such clients as Nike, Pepsi, HBO, Rolling Stone Magazine and Levis, quickly establishing the company as a marketing powerhouse. With that, Rifkind decided to return to music and started Loud Records in 1992, inaugurating the bi-coastal hip-hop label and recruiting Tha Liks as his first act.
By maintaining its now renown A&R prowess and aggressive, street wise approach to discovering and nurturing talent, Loud quickly established itself as one of hip-hop’s most successful and culturally influential labels, releasing many of the most important albums of the 90s from the Wu-Tang Clan, Big Punisher, Mobb Deep, Funkmaster Flex, Xzibit, Three 6 Mafia and Raekwon, among many others.
In addition to overseeing all of the activities of the newly formed SRC/Universal, Rifkind recently sold 50% of the Steven Rifkind Company to Mosaic Media Holdings.
Universal Records is a subsidiary of Universal Motown Records Group, a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.).