ATLANTA, GA -- After serving a 14-month sentence in a federal prison on a gun charge, independent label CEO Marlon Rowe has hit the ground running. The self-made music mogul landed a seven-figure deal with giant Atlantic Records for artist Gucci Mane.
Riding off the strength of ever-popular hits "Icy" featuring Young Jeezy and "Go Head", Gucci's 2005 independent breakthrough album Trap House sold more than 150,000 units. "Icy" remained on Billboard charts for almost eight weeks straight. Gucci's follow up sophomore album Hard to Kill was released earlier this year and fueled by club-jumping singles "Freaky Gurl","Pillz & "My Chain" featuring Black Magic.
Gucci wasn't the only high-scoring player on the Big Cat roster. Big Cat kept the southern region rumbling with Maceo's dynamic debut Straight Out Da Pot and A-town princess Rasheeda's long-awaited album Georgia Peach, generating hit tracks "Hoe Sit Down", "Nextel Chirp" and "Bubble Gum" respectively. Currently, Rasheeda's "Bubble Gum" has over 7000 spins to date. Big Cat even kept dancehalls jumping with a compilation by Gargamel Music/Buju Banton titled Toppa Di Top.
In addition, the label kept the streets fed with Street Certified Mixtapes which sold over 170,000 units. The label's next release is hot young artists Maceo (Fall 2007) and Black Magic's debut album, Summer 2007 along with various other upcoming artists.
Since its inception, the thriving independent boasts highly-applauded projects such as Buju Banton's Dirty Rhythms and most notably Gucci Mane's Trap House.
"During my time of incarceration, President, Melvin Breeden, Tom Silverman, President of Tommy Boy Records and his staff became a vital part of helping me maintain the cohesiveness of Big Cat Records and all of my business endeavors. I was able to clear my head and put things in perspective. I'm a wiser man as a result of it."
In a handful of years, the burgeoning enterprise has evolved into one of the most recognized and respected recording companies and was lauded by Billboard magazine as one of the Top 15 R&B and Hip Hop Labels of 2005, holding its own among major players such as Universal Records and Sony Records.