YG’s big year just got a little bit bigger.
In an exclusive interview with Billboard, YG has announced that his label 4Hunnid Records has signed a multi-million dollar deal with Interscope. YG is still signed under Def Jam, but his label will be under the Interscope umbrella—think J. Cole (Roc Nation/Columbia) and Dreamville (Interscope) or Rick Ross (Def Jam) and MMG (Warner) as artists in similar circumstances.
Naturally, the Compton rapper is excited about the new joint venture, which has him making big proclamations:
"It’s real family-oriented. We giving our people opportunities to be something. We not just pulling a regular homie that don’t know nothing about music or don’t got no potential to be successful in the music industry. We not bringing 'em along and giving them job titles like, 'Here, bro, you gon’ run this.' It’s certain people that’s been around since we came in the game. They been around from that time doing certain little things, watching how we move, watching how we do things and they learned so we bringing them along with us. We about the people so we’re trying to uplift one another ‘cause that’s really how you gon’ have some real shit. We trying to do it like we on some Roc-A-Fella shit."
During Roc-A-Fella’s iconic run, the label produced a successful clothing line, introduced an array of talented artists, and delivered classic albums. YG & 4Hunnid’s clothing made headlines with their promotional video that depicted police brutality, a daring approach to introduce their latest line of shirts and hats.
Expanding a clothing line will be a natural progression for the label, but what the label currently lacks is an artist roster. Interscope gave YG a few million for a label that doesn’t have a single signee. YG doesn’t seem worried, though. Reading through the interview the artist knows exactly how he wants his machine to run. Understanding what it means to sign bad deals, YG doesn’t want that for any potential artists.
4Hunnid is a label that will treat its artists just like family, according to YG. It's an admirable mantra, but the question is can YG the CEO run his tight ship like a happy home?
We teach artists how to build brand and be businessmen and business ladies. It’s just bigger than being an artist and putting out an album. I know there’s a lot of motherf--kers who ain’t taking the time out to spend with their peoples and break shit down from the bottom with them about all of this type of shit. In the record business, if you sign an artist that don’t really know too much about the business, you can really get over on them in a lot of different ways so it’s a lot of people that don’t give artist the game because they’re trying to make the most money in the fastest way off their artists. They ain’t trying to be business partners with their artists. We bring that to the table.
The interview also reveals that Capitol Records wanted to sign YG, DJ Mustard, and Ty $ Sign to a group label deal. That deal, of course, didn’t happen but would’ve been a huge power move. YG, Mustard, and Ty all came up together—the rapper, the producer, and the multi-talented vocalist would’ve been an excellent foundation to grow and groom artist. The three would’ve been a label dream team, but now Interscope wants YG to build his own team.
YG's looking for the music, the star power, and artists that are representing something different than himself—the right perspective to build a diverse squad of artists. Still, there’s a big difference from having a vision and executing a plan. So far YG hasn't had to push or promote anyone. 4Hunnid seems to know the direction they want to go in, but they haven’t put the vehicle in motion just yet.
Rick Ross had already reached superstar status when Warner gave him the chance to build MMG. His deal has subsequently put Meek and Wale in power positions, but the bulk of his roster hasn’t seen the same success. J. Cole and Dreamville is also a label with promise, but they haven’t produced the next big star. It’s possible that YG’s deal with Interscope will have different results. By putting Kamaiyah on the single “Why You Always Hatin?,” the Oakland rising star was given a nice spotlight to gain new fans. Showing he's not afraid to give a new artist a big chance is all part of YG's new job description.
In fact, the entire Still Brazy album is full of features that could be potential label signees like Sad Boy, Syke 800, Slim 400, and Bricc Baby. But are these artists potential stars in the making? Roc-A-Fella was the label that turned street edge into commercial appeal, 4Hunnid could very well follow in those very footsteps. YG has already proven it’s possible, but there’s a huge difference between blowing yourself up and blowing up others.
YG the rapper has arrived and conquered, now it’s time for YG the CEO to try and do the same.
By Yoh, aka Yoh 500 aka @Yoh31