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Hip-Hop Hitmakers

Each title in this series focuses on a major music label that specializes in hip-hop, R&B, or urban music. The books provide the history behind the music label's creation and tell the story of its growth and development, while also providing biographical information about the label's biggest stars and their major releases.

12 volumes
2013
9 and up
7 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches
"Each title is illustrated with color photos of popular musicians and chronicles the ups and downs of the often violent hip-hop music industry as well as the difficulties of building a business." "The pages are packed with text, colorful borders, and lots of "Fast Fact" boxes."
School Library Journal
Landmark Hip Hop Hits
by Carol Ellis

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
Hip-hop music began in the neighborhoods of the Bronx, New York, during the 1970s and grew to become a major cultural influence all over the world. Hip-hop has evolved through both individual innovation and technological breakthroughs. "Landmark Hip-Hop Hits" traces the development of this musical genre through discussion of its biggest hits and most important stars, from early songs like "Rapper's Delight" and "The Message" to contemporary hits by performers like Jay-Z, Drake, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne. The songs discussed in this book had an important part to play in shaping the history of the hip-hop movement over the past five decades.

The Story of Aftermath Entertainment
by Robert Grayson

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
Dr. Dre was the face of hip-hop by the time he started Aftermath Entertainment in 1996. But like any new record label, even one started by a legend, Aftermath had to go through some growing pains before finding its sound. Once it did, Aftermath was on a roll, producing platinum albums by megastars like Eminem and 50 Cent. The record label combined the creativity and fresh material of new rap stars with the special touch only a musical genius like Dr. Dre could add. Born out of the violent era of the West Coast--East Coast rap feud, Aftermath carried Dr. Dre's hopes of creating a record label that focused solely on music, not violence. There were some false starts along the way. But it did not take Aftermath long to introduce some of rap's biggest names to the world and sell millions upon millions of albums.

The Story of Bad Boy Entertainment
by Jeff Burlingame

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
The story of Bad Boy Entertainment is one of triumph and tragedy. It was triumph when the dream of founder Sean "Puffy" Combs was transformed into one of the most successful record labels in the history of hip-hop music. It was tragedy when the life of Bad Boy's most successful artist, Christopher "Biggie" Wallace, was violently ended at the prime of his career. It was triumph again when Puffy evoked Biggie's memory in a chart-topping song that helped jump-start a highly successful performing career of his own. Nearly 20 years after its founding, Bad Boy Entertainment has grown from a record label spinning out rap hits to a do-everything company with dealings in the world of fashion, food, and music.

The Story of Cash Money Records
by Terri Dougherty

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
Founded in New Orleans in the early 1990s, Cash Money Records faced an uphill battle as it struggled to gain respect. Brothers Bryan "Baby" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams started the label by recording New Orleans artists who were part of the local "bounce music" scene. The label's young rappers, including Juvenile, B.G., and Turk, worked hard to deliver hits, but inner turmoil almost derailed Cash Money's success. The breakout success of Lil Wayne, who became the label's biggest star and even served as its president for a time, helped Cash Money survive during a difficult decade. Today stars like Drake and Nicki Minaj are helping to make Cash Money Records a household name in the hip-hop world.

The Story of Death Row Records
by Trey White

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
For a few years in the mid-1990s, a small music label called Death Row stood atop the hip-hop world. Death Row Records was instrumental in introducing a hard-core style of rap music known as "gangsta rap" to mainstream audiences. Albums like Dr. Dre's "The Chronic", Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Doggystyle", and Tupac Shakur's "All Eyez on Me" sold millions of copies and influenced a new generation of artists. The money rolled in for Death Row's founder, Marion "Suge" Knight. The good times could not last, however. Tupac was murdered, Suge Knight was sent to prison for various crimes, and the label's top stars moved on. The dramatic rise and fall of Death Row Records is chronicled in this book.

The Story of Def Jam
by Brian Baughan

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
When it was founded in 1984, Def Jam was a tiny operation nestled in the college dorm room of Rick Rubin. He and promoter Russell Simmons quickly built a music empire around a talented crew of groundbreaking artists and an allegiance to the "real street music" that was about to bust out of New York City's hip-hop circles. Over the course of several decades, Def Jam has helped launched many of the best acts in rap & pop music, including LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Method Man, DMX, Ja Rule, Jay-Z, and Rihanna. Over 200 gold and over 70 platinum records bear the Def Jam label. Def Jam's 25th anniversary in 2009 was just another milestone in the story of a label that helped define the sound as well as the wider culture of hip-hop.

The Story of Interscope Records
by Diane Bailey

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
Hip-hop started on the streets of New York with African American youths in the 1970s. But with its strong beats and raw lyrics, it quickly spread across the country. It became the music of a generation of young Americans. But hip-hop is more than just music. It's a lifestyle. It's also big business. When Interscope Records was formed in 1990, the company's founders saw an opportunity. Young people loved the energy of hip-hop. Interscope gave rappers like Eminem and 50 Cent their start--and it paid off. Today, Interscope is a multimillion-dollar company that handles all kinds of music. There were setbacks on the way to success. But whether it was Lady Gaga or the Black Eyed Peas, Interscope always managed to find a star!

The Story of Konvict Muzic
by Emma Kowalski

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
In the early years of the 21st century, R&B/hip-hop performer Akon made his name as a popular vocalist and an in-demand producer. After succeeding as a musician, Akon decided to foster new talent by launching his own record label, Konvict Muzik, as well as a music distributor, Kon Live Distribution. Konvict Muzik and Kon Live have seen a great deal of success. Akon's ear for undiscovered talent has uncovered the flashy showmanship of dance-pop superstar Lady Gaga, and the playful humor of rapper/R&B singer T-Pain. Other artists signed by Akon include Kardinal Offishall, Kat DeLuna, and Colby O'Donis. The artists who compose Konvict Muzik's lineup hail from multiple regions of the world and play music from many different genres. What they tend to have in common is the ability to blend all kinds of music together, and a knack for embracing the unconventional.

The Story of Mosley Music Group
by Emma Kowalski

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
Since the mid-1990s, Tim Mosley--better known as Timbaland--has been one of the most in-demand and critically respected producers in the music industry. His credits include numerous hits in hip-hop, as well as dance, R&B, pop, and rock. But that isn't the only contribution Timbaland has made to the music scene. In 2006, he became the CEO of his own record label, Mosley Music Group. Open to all kinds of acts, the label is part of, and distributed by, Interscope Records. Mosley Music Group has released several star-studded albums. The label has given new creative outlets to experienced artists like Nelly Furtado and Chris Cornell, and helped launch the careers of artists like OneRepublic, Keri Hilson, D.O.E., and MC Hayes. This book profiles all of Mosley Music Group's past and present artists and their releases, as well as the fascinating story of Timbaland's long and influential career.

The Story of No Limit Records
by Jim Whiting

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
Percy "Master P" Miller came out of one of the toughest slums in New Orleans to found No Limit Records in Richmond, California, on a shoestring budget in 1991. Master P sold his first releases out of the trunk of his car, but he always believed in himself. Thanks to his hard work, within a few years No Limit was one of the most successful hip-hop record labels in the country and Master P was a multi-millionaire. Master P couldn't maintain this level of success, however, and in 2003 the label went bankrupt. Master P began a new label and kept going. In recent years, he has attempted to change the focus of his music to make it more positive, and started Take a Stand Records for that purpose. Now calling himself P. Miller, the rapper/entrepreneur remains active in the music business and also works to help others.

The Story of Roc-A-Fella Records
by Emma Kowalski

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
When Shawn Carter, an aspiring rapper with the stage name Jay-Z, couldn't get his career off the ground at a major record label, he didn't get discouraged. He and his partners Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke created a hip-hop label of their own. They named the label Roc-A-Fella Records. Originally intended as a one-time project to release Jay-Z's full-length debut album, "Reasonable Doubt", Roc-A-Fella Records expanded into a true hip-hop powerhouse. Roc-A-Fella Records has introduced listeners to the unique talents of artists like Kanye West, the Young Gunz, and the State Property crew. Other artists, such as Jadakiss and the O.D.B., have received another chance to kick-start their careers. This book describes the musical contributions of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Roc-A-Fella's other past and present artists, as well as the record label's complex behind-the-scenes history.

The Story of So So Def Records
by Emma Kowalski

Hardcover Available
eBook Available
During the early 1990s, successful music producer Jermaine Dupri started So So Def Recordings. The Atlanta-based label began at a time when Southern hip-hop music was just beginning to get a lot of attention. Dupri signed distribution deals with much-larger record companies like Columbia and Arista. This allowed him to focus on what he did best: finding talented unknown artists and producing hit music. Some of So So Def's biggest stars included Da Brat, Lil Bow Wow, and Jagged Edge. Today So So Def Recordings is completely independent, and Jermaine Dupri is working hard to introduce a new generation of hip-hop stars.




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