With great independent labels, artists have a history of being A&R’s. At Wild Pitch Records in the early ’90s, it was MC Serch who helped sign O.C. and Non-Phixion. At Tommy Boy Records around the same time, producer Dante Ross was responsible for the signings of acts like De La Soul and Digital Underground. This week it was announced that Coney Island emcee Torae [click to read] will carry on this rich tradition in Hip Hop, as he was named A&R for Soulspazm Records.
“I’ve known Jim Drew, [CEO of Soulspazm] since 2007 when Marco Polo introduced us,“ Torae told HipHopDX. “We’ve been in business together since I dropped Daily Conversation [click to read] which was one of the first projects on Soulspazm Digital. I always admired his honesty and ginuine-ness in this business and he respected my hustle, talent and drive. During one of our talks, the A&R [position opening] came up and I was more than excited to make it happen. I get people asking me to listen to their music all the time but I’ve never been in a position to do more than just listen and give ’em some feedback. Now I can actually do something to help get their music out there if its dope.“
Torae will be signing and developing artists to the label that’s had a hand in introducing Hezekiah and Pumpkinhead, while also releasing albums from Supastition and Grand Agent. “The first cat I hollered at when I got the position was my homie Kil Ripkin from The Coalescence. I knew he had heat on deck and I wanted to make sure he knew Soulspazm was an option. I also got at my man Vandalyzm [click to read] from St. Louis. These are two ill dudes that aren’t getting enough shine right now. The first deal I did was with War Machine for the B.A.M & Ric Rude project which drops September 1st.“
Soulspazm CEO Jim Drew added, “We’re thrilled to have Torae come on board as an A&R for Soulspazm. Besides having a great ear for quality music, his experience as a successful independent artist is an invaluable tool for the artists we work with.“
Torae & Marco Polo‘s Double Barrel [click to read] released earlier this year and is in stores now.