Hip Hop and reggae have maintained a longstanding relationship, one that extends back to the very of birth of Hip Hop with DJ Kool Herc playing the selector on the one's and two's. Now, Ne-Yo is looking to uphold that tradition by establishing a new label imprint intended to promote Jamaican artists.
According to a recent article in the Jamaica Observer, Ne-Yo has launched a new arm to his Compound Entertainment imprint called Compound Island. The new label offers Jamaican musicians the chance at a record deal through an online talent search.
Ne-Yo and his manager Tishawn Gayle explained why they looked to Jamaica to starting thier newest venture. Both explained that reggae music, which ftook root amidst the political strife of the 1960s, is universally recognized as one of the most influential genres of music of the 20th century.
"We chose Jamaica because of its rich legacy of producing some of the world's biggest recording artists, be it in notoriety or album sales," said Gayle.
Ne-Yo added, "Reggae music is global music; you can go anywhere to hear it. You can go to Australia and hear it."
Ne-Yo is also preparing the release of his upcoming fifth album. Although the project remains untitled and is currently incomplete, he did say that he's aiming for a September release date.
"I don't have a title for it yet, and I've not identified the tracks, but it should be ready by September," he said.