Certified, a New Catalog Brand Connecting Today’s Fans to Undisputed Classics of Hip Hop and R&B
Sony Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings are pleased to announce the launch of Certified Classics–a new cross-platform urban catalog brand devoted to the curation and celebration of three decade’s worth of classic hip-hop and R&B music and culture with a focus on the revolutionary genre-defining recordings of the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s.
“The records of the classic hip-hop and contemporary R&B eras are bridges to the pop and youth cultures of the 21st century,” said Adam Block, President, Legacy Recordings. “Certified Classics is proud to be making this music available to longtime fans of hip-hop culture while introducing these groundbreaking artists’ albums and singles and the often incredible stories behind them to new generations of music lovers.”
Certified is releasing three 12″ vinyl exclusives–including the first-ever official issue of Big L’s legendary “Devil’s Son”–for the 10th Anniversary of Record Store Day 2017 (April 22, 2017).
Certified’s RSD 2017 exclusives include: DJ Muggs Presents…The Soul Assassins Chapter One, Giant Single: Profile Records Rap Anthology, Vol. 1 and the Big L – Devil’s Son EP (From The Vaults) (featuring five additional tracks).
Certified Classics is Legacy Recordings’ home for Sony Music’s groundbreaking Hip-Hop and R&B catalog. With access to a rich and diverse library that includes seminal titles, original masters, outtakes, live recordings and more from artists including Fugees, Maxwell, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Xscape, Aaliyah and many others, Certified aim to pay homage to the pioneers, innovators and architects of classic Hip-Hop and R&B by preserving, curating and reissuing repertoire from the 1980s through the early 2000s.
Launched in 2016, Certified creates new opportunities to experience a genre that both created and mirrored an emerging youth culture, a grassroots movement that started in-the-streets with two-turntables-and-a-microphone (or a boombox) and became a mainstream phenomenon while the 20th century crossed over into the 21st. Certified will provide contemporary music fans access to rare and unreleased albums, singles, remixes, photos and video footage from iconic labels that have come through the Sony label system such as Jive, Loud, Ruffhouse, J Records, Arista, LaFace, So So Def, Profile, RCA Records, Epic, and Columbia—all in an effort to tell stories that help illustrate the impact R&B and Hip-Hop have made on music and the world.
Certified will be revisiting classic album and looking at opportunities to create new state-of-the-art audio for releases. With full access to the SME vaults, Certified will be able to access and release previously unavailable audio, video, and photo content while using found material to create new original content including interviews with artists, label executives, producers, engineers, managers and others involved in the creation of classic hip-hop and modern R&B. In addition to reissuing classic albums on vinyl, Certified will be creating custom anniversary and commemorative editions.
Certified is designed to bridge the gap between old school soul, disco, and R&B to Hip-Hop, Rap, contemporary R&B and beyond connecting younger developing artists to the musical revolutionaries who continue to inspire generations.
Certified Classics RSD 2017 releases:
Big L – Devil’s Son (From the Vaults) – 12″ black vinyl maxi-single 5-track EP
Harlem rapper Big L (1974-1999) helped pioneer hip-hop’s horrorcore sub-genre of hip-hop during his too-short but notable career with his underground track “Devil’s Son,” a song recorded but deemed too controversial for 1995’s Lifestyles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous. “Devil’s Son” is released for the first time officially on 12″ vinyl alongside an instrumental version plus five legendary and long-bootlegged tracks from the Lifestyles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous sessions.
DJ Muggs – The Soul Assassins Chapter 1 – 1LP 12″ picture disc
For The Soul Assassins Chapter 1, producer DJ Muggs assembled a hard-hitting album that combined a murderer’s row of hip-hop icons with Muggs’ laid-back, West Coast beats. With verses from Cypress Hill, Dr. Dre, RZA, GZA, Goodie Mob, KRS-One, Mobb Deep, Wyclef Jean and more, The Soul Assassins Chapter 1 is a one-of-a-kind hip-hop touchstone. It’s being reissued for its 20th anniversary as a 12″ picture disc featuring the original album’s striking cover illustration and logo.
Various – Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology Vol. 1 – 2LP 12″ red vinyl
While New York-based Profile Records was conceived as a home for disco when it was founded in 1979, the fledgling label caught on to the hip-hop movement as the 1980s dawned, releasing pioneering tracks by Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, Rammelzee vs. K-Rob, Run-DMC, Dana Dane and more. Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology Vol. 1 spotlights the early influence of one of rap’s true super-powered indie labels, with 15 classic hits on 2LP red vinyl!