TDE President Punch was recently asked to explain the label situation for artists under the Top Dawg imprint.
"The way it’s broken down, Kendrick [Lamar] is Aftermath/Interscope/TDE," Punch said in an interview with XXL. "Q is Interscope/TDE. Everybody else is strictly TDE for right now. We’re talking to labels about doing a full label situation. We’re not budging, so the terms gotta mach. The way we see it, [we can] roll everything out how it’s been rolling out. Section.80 sold 100,000 copies. That’s all us, just on iTunes—no physical copies. We done met with everybody, though. Everybody’s trying to do it."
Punch also explained how he's analyzed how other successful group managed their solo deals in the past.
"There’s different ways to do it," Punch said. "Wu-Tang split everybody up. They had guys here, there, all over the place. Basically, if one guy is here, everybody’s here, really—’cause everybody’s going to be on the project, so everything is intertwined. Or you can go the route where you just put everybody in one thing [and] concentrate all the forces there. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. With us, it has to match what we’re asking for. We’re not gassed, but we’re not budging. We don’t need to budge, really, at this point. Kendrick been touring three years straight and he just dropped his album last year. So that’s before [the] label, before radio—we’re already reaching these people, and now our platform is bigger. We still have Black Hippy as a group—all four of the guys; that’s an artist in itself. It’s different ways to do it. I don’t want to go too specific on the terms of what we’re asking for, but we’re not going to move off of what we asking for."
TDE's Punch Says TDE Needs Creative Control
During the interview, Punch also discussed the important qualities that TDE is looking for in regards to label situations.
"The main thing to us is to have creative control, first," Punch said. "Like, after all the money or whatever is agreed to, we have to have control of what we’re doing, to put it out the way we want to put it out, because it’s been successful so far on the level we’ve been on.
"Even with Kendrick, everybody didn’t believe in his first project," Punch added. "The projections were 70,000 the first week—that’s what they were telling us he was going to sell and he came out and surpassed that. We already knew ’cause we were at all the shows. We seen him selling out venues from coast to coast and that’s based on our formula, so we have to stick to how we do things, our mode of operation."
TDE's Punch Explains End Of 2013 For The Imprint
During the interview, Punch was also asked about ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron release.
"It’s a few sample issues and technical stuff that we gotta get the kinks out of," he said. "You might see something from Ab-Soul this year. We might drop a project on him. Jay Rock is still cooking. SZA, she might have a project this year, too. That’s about it until the end of the year."
ScHoolboy Q recorded a verse for Isaiah Rashad's "Shot You Down (Remix)" where he raps about Oxymoron being slated for a February 2014 release.
"I'm still stuck in my ways," ScHoolboy Q raps on the song. "A nigga just tryin' to get paid / I'm tired of answering questions why Oxymoron delayed / See, I was thinking November, but January is sweet / They set my Setbacks is free, my Habits won in my sleep / So January agree, get a taste of this gangsta / See I'm just tryna eat with a freak of the week."
Ab-Soul recently made headlines when he announced that his new album, still untitled, is being finalized.