April 15, 2008 10:59 ET

KOCH Records Announces New Deal With Tony Draper and Suave (House) Records

8Ball & MJG's "Greatest Hits" on Deck

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 15, 2008) - KOCH Records is pleased to announce a new deal with longstanding Houston powerhouse Suave Records (formerly Suave House). Via this landmark arrangement, KOCH Records will release several forthcoming titles by legendary artists 8Ball & MJG, Philly phenom Gillie Da Kid, and the next mouthpiece from the South, Jiggolo.

Tony Draper -- founder of Houston, TX-based Suave Records -- spearheaded the independent label movement of the early 1990s. Recognizing the national appeal of then-regional act 8Ball & MJG, he thrust the Memphis mainstays into the limelight. Suave House assaulted the music scene with 1993's "Comin' Out Hard," the duo's debut album. From that pivotal point, Draper grew into an architect for Southern rap's impending and concurrent dominance of the genre. More recently, he helped pushed Ice Cube's independent release "Laugh Now, Cry Later" record -- for which Cube owned his own masters -- to an astonishing 600,000 SoundScan sales. Additionally, he orchestrated the Clipse's groundbreaking 5-year 50/50 deal at Sony/Columbia Records, again entitling the Clipse to ownership of their masters.

"The saying 'I'm going independent' is all you hear now!" opines Tony Draper. "But I've been independent since day one! I assembled the one-stop distributors like MS, Big State, CRD, City HALL, Maverne, and Southwest Wholesales. Then I made Select-O-Hits the point guard to collect from those companies. All told, I sold 700,000 records before I ever got with a major label." Draper will be teaming up with his long time friend Alan Grunblatt, who supported a young Draper in the early days at Relativity Records. In three short years, Draper and Grunblatt generated $25 million in revenue and firmly stamped the map with Southern rap.

KOCH Records General Manager Alan Grunblatt adds this of the auspicious arrangement: "Tony and I have had tremendous success with Suave Records in the late '90s. He is a brilliant record man and I'm sure we're going to have lots of gold artists as part of this new venture."

The first release under this joint endeavor will be 8Ball & MJG's "Greatest Hits," dropping May 13th, 2008. "Greatest Hits" marks a point in history as the first compilation of the duo's classic catalogue in "Best Of" format. A new generation of Southern rap fans will learn vital life lessons from Memphis' founding fathers, while older heads will nod nostalgically to music in its rawest, purest form. Featuring inimitable joints like "Space Age Pimpin'," "Pimp In My Own Rhyme," and "Don't Flex," 8Ball & MJG's "Greatest Hits" is hip-hop canon for collectors and connoisseurs everywhere. Stay tuned.

About KOCH Entertainment

KOCH Entertainment, founded in 1987 and now in its twenty-second year, is the leading and fastest-growing independent music company in the U.S. KOCH's operations encompass record and video labels, music publishing as well as distribution companies in the U.S. and Canada. KOCH Entertainment is the market leader among independent labels and distributors in both the U.S. and Canada. Its record label KOCH Records is the # 1 independent label in the U.S. and had the largest number of Billboard charting albums among independents for seven years in a row (2001 - 2007). KOCH Entertainment is a subsidiary of Entertainment One Ltd. which is listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market (ticker symbol "ETO.L").

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Giovanna Melchiorre
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