Labels – How the industry has changed
The Gza & The Rza both became disillusioned with the record industry, when they were signed to Cold Chillin & Tommy Boy respectively. It’s believed that this is what led The Rza to create Wu Tang and Gza to create this song. A recurring patern has happened with many of the labels he mentioned in this record.
Tommy Boy – when Labels was made, Tommy Boy was distributed by Warner Bros. They are no longer with a major distiributor.
Livin Large – Folded in 1998
Def Jam – at the time of Labels, Def Jam was owned by Polygram. Def Jam now operates under Universal Records.
Ruff House – Defunct
Cold Chillin – Folded in 1998
Warner Bros – Now operating as Warner Music Group. The label is around $2 billion in debt.
Ruthless – Now operates under Sony. Catalog is now owned by EMI/Sony & Warner. Was a multi platinum seller at the time of Labels.
Jive – Now owned by Sony since 2002. Was sold for $2.7 billion.
Sleeping Bag – Defunct
Profile – The former heavyweight is now out of business. Catalog still owned by Sony.
Tuff City – Still operating after surviving various sample lawsuits.
Virgin – Still operating but Urban division is almost non existent.
Mercury – Now owned by Universal
Capitol – Still operating
Wu Tang – Still distributed by Priority/EMI
Deathrow – Was renamed Tha Row – however after declaring bankruptcy, the catalog is now owned by WIDEawake.
Epic – Still operating under Sony.
Rush Associated Labels – Was merged into Def Jam when they were purchased by Universal.
East West – Still operating.
Atco – The label is inactive, however the logo appears on some re-releases. Owned by Warner.
Next Plateau – Now owned by Universal – no longer has a hip hop roster.
Uptown – The former heavyweight is now defunct and exists only in name under Universal.
MCA – Defunct & logo owned by Geffen who use it on some of their country releases.
4th & Broadway – Now defunct in the U.S, however the label/logo is used in the UK under Island/Universal.
Island Records – Still operating but now under Universal.
Priority – Bought by Capitol/EMI in 2001 who owns their vast back catalog.
First Priority – Now owned by Jive.
A&M – Merged with Polygram/MCA in 1998 to create Universal Records. Interscope & Geffen later merged with the label.
Pendulum – Defunct. Catalog now owned by Universal
Columbia – CBS was purchased by Sony.
Interscope – Formerly distributed by Atlantic/Warner but later owned and distributed by Universal. Now the world’s biggest label.
RCA – Merged with infamous rival CBS after it was bought by Sony in 2004.
Atlantic – Still operating.
Bad Boy – Formerly under Arista, now under Atlantic/Warner. Was one of the biggest labels at the time.
Arista – Still operating after being bought by Sony.
Geffen – see Interscope
CBS –CBS was one of the biggest labels around until it merged with Sony (The Big 6 is now the Big 4).