@Judahonthebeats Choose Wisely Video

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Section 8 Mob

Section 8 Mob consisted of PO, Midnight  and Montana.  Dark City Records was the home the Section 8 Mob.  The name of the label was indicative of how the music sounded. It was dark, grimy, and honest to say the least.  Now you have to remember the music Section 8 created was “post crack era” (Early 90’s). Also it was the height of Go-Go music so to have a rap label in DC, MD or Virginia was rare at the time.  In the 90’s, Section 8 released “Controlled Dangerous Substance” (1994), Repercussions Single/EP (1998) and  Guilty by Association (1999). Don’t get it twisted and think that I’m saying Section 8 was the very first rap record label in DC, MD or VA  ( Nobody really knows what the first label was) but what I am saying is that they had a huge influence with their music, business moves and visuals. Hell they had Morgan Freeman in their “Guilty by Association” short movie/video. Yes…. MORGAN “MUTHAFUCKING “ FREEMAN!!!! Section 8 albums were everywhere in the streets, their posters and flyers were up everywhere and their videos were heavy on BET and Video Jukebox. Years later as I got older I realized people as far as Houston to California were hip to Section 8. I can speak for several DC, MD and VA independent rap labels and say that Section 8 can be credited as one of the label/groups that created that early DC street sound.

Low Budget Crew

I first heard of Low Budget crew in early 2001-2002 and I was completely blown away. The guy that gave me the cd said “This that Boom bap Shit!” The music I was hearing was completely different than the street sound I was accustom to. The Low Budget Crew consists of Kev Brown, Oddisee, Kenn Star, Cy Young, Roddy Rod, Kaimbr and a few other notable emcees, dj’s and producers.  Low Budgets impact on DC, MD and VA music was threefold. 1. The group as a whole created a cult following like no other. Their sound and music has traveled the world and brought attention to the DC, MD and VA area. 2. All the members of Low Budget have went on to establish themselves  as solo artist, producers and dj’s in their own right. See, collectively and individually they all released quality music for free and for sale.  3. They have remained together throughout the years collaborating and releasing quality music to this day. Low Budgets fan base and reach is phenomenal and the stealth was they move is even more remarkable.  Low Budget is one of the only crews I know that still releases music on vinyl.  The attention that the Low Budget Crew brought to the DC, MD and VA is priceless.

Oneway Records

Southeast DC gave birth to OneWay Records. The nucleus consisted of Boobe, Don Choo, Midnight, and BDR. Oneway was one of the first street labels that made a huge impact with the youth in DC, MD and VA. The youngins either heard of OneWay Records or their infamous housing projects (Barry Farms). On the music side of things, OneWay put out a lot of quality music over the years.  After releasing “One Way Up”, in September 2003; the album was declared an instant, street classic. That album reached Billboard charts three times and #2 in the country on XM Radio’s 66 Raw channel.  They sold 5,000 according to Sound Scan and reportedly another 5,000 in the streets out the trunk. That’s big for a true independent street label. Following several successful underground mixtapes, indie releases, and with the addition of new members, they collectively decided to change the label to Oy Boyz Records.  OneWay was always ahead of other labels from the music to their promotion. I remember one of their promo schemes was passing out condoms in an “OneWay Records” in its own OneWay Wrapper.  OneWay always had big features from signed national artist too (Paul Wall, Face, Rick Ross).  When you have the discussion about DC, MD and VA music, you cant help but to bring OneWay up in that discussion.

Studio 43

Studio 43 was the first boutique label to hit the DMV music scene.  Studio 43 was the label that signed MD’s biggest rap star to date…..Wale!  Studio 43 started roughly in 2005-2006 by Kenny Burns and consisted of Robyn Lyons, Me (Judah) and a few other affiliates throughout the city.  Wale released some of his best music (Dig Dug, Breakdown, Uptown Roamers) and bodies of work on Studio 43. That alone impacted the region greatly.  That was the first time a local artist broke thru local radio and had “legit” request for his songs on the radio.  Studio 43 also took the marketing and promoting game to another level as well.  I remember between 2006-2008 hundreds of artist would call and/or come to my studio asking me to get them signed to Studio 43. It was that serious. After Wale moved on to a major label Studio 43 kept the indie train moving by signing a young Maryland artist named Marky.  Marky made considerable noise while on the label signing a record deal with Universal/SRC. Even-though Studio 43 stopped focusing on music in 2011 their impact on the area was huge and memorable. Several local labels from 2007 to now took notes from Studio 43.

Honorable Mentions:
HoodLlife Money, Chocolate City, Mercenary Records, Percell Records, Eargasim Music

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