Gangster Rap Label Priority Records Relaunching
One-time home to Ice Cube, N.W.A, Eazy-E and others, Priority Records is being relaunched next month. The label's first release will be Just Blaze and Baauer's "Higher" single, which features Jay Z.
Pioneering gangster rap label Priority Records is relaunching. Capitol Music Group and Insurgency Music have formed a joint venture to handle the reboot of the former home of N.W.A, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Master P and Eazy-E, according to Billboard.com.
The new version of Priority Records will be much different than the old one, which also released albums by Mack 10, Westside Connection and C-Murder, among others. In its new incarnation, Priority Records will be a producer-driven label focusing on electronic and progressive urban music, as per Billboard.com
Priority Records' first project under new president Michael Cohen will be the August 13 release of the song “Higher” by Just Blaze and Baauer featuring Jay Z. “We’re so respectful of Priority’s important role in Capitol’s history,” Capitol Music Group chairman/CEO Steve Barnett said to Billboard.com. “But it was also a street label focusing on music that thrives outside the mainstream. And that’s exactly what Michael and his team have been doing. They have a strong vision of the new generation of electronic and progressive urban music. Baauer was the first indication of that.”
Baauer released the hit single "Harlem Shake" and is managed by Insurgency Music. Cohen told Billboard that producer Harry Fraud and his Surf School label are among those who will also be releasing material through Priority. Fraud released the Saab Stories project with Action Bronson last month.
Even though Cohen says to Billboard that he does not come from the Hip Hop world, he said he appreciates what Priority Records stood for. "The genesis of that label was really about supporting the indie level," he says to Billboard. "It broke the mold in terms of working outside the system to bring street-level music to the mainstream without any compromise. And the producer—who has always played a strong role in Hip Hop—has become the focal point coming out of the global electronic music space. It’s heralded a paradigm shift in the way music is created, discovered and spread. Our first single ‘Higher’ epitomizes everything we’re trying to do with Priority.”