TVT Records, known by Hip Hop listeners as home to Lil Jon & The Eastside Boys and Pitbull announced early this week that the New York-based independent label is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after reportedly firing its staff.
There was some confusion when reports surfaced yesterday (Feb 19th) about the firing of staff members and DX could not get a confirmation of the grumblings. A source close to the situation verified to DX early this morning that much of the staff was indeed handed pink slips early Tuesday.
The label, founded and still run by Steve Gotlieb, has been in existence over 22 years. In Hip Hop, the label's largest successes have come from southern acts such as Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins. Despite a surprise win in a nine-figure lawsuit against Def Jam concerning early Ja Rule material (in the Cash Money Click), the agreement was later appealed, resulting in TVT seeing zero gains.
In the last three years, TVT had witnessed a severe decline in its urban sales. As Lil Jon publicly skewered the label and withheld submitting his next album, Pitbull, as recently as last week, encouraged his fans to bootleg his music, an action against TVT. In addition, what many perceived to be a sought-after release, 213's (Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg) long-awaited debut failed to translate to commercial success, despite significant costs.
At press time, there is no indication how this announcement will affect TVT's artists, but HipHopDX will keep you posted.