Warner Music Group
is already making plans to try and capture the Rock and Hip-Hop market with
the launch of two new "incubator" labels.
WMG has revived
the Asylum record label, which will be distributed through Warner/Elektra/Atlantic
and will help build indie labels within the WMG label.
In business, an
incubator is a parent like organization that provides office space, equipment,
mentoring and sometimes money to new businesses.
a partner in Violator Management which handles Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Missy
Elliot, Mobb Deep and others, will head the new Asylum imprint. Warner sales
executive Ron Spaulding will also leave WEA for the Asylum label.
The first deal
is with Three Six Mafia’s imprint, Hypnotize Minds, which includes Lil Wyte,
whose album Doubt Me Now has moved over 100,000 copies and Frayser Boy.
For the Rock label,
Warner has tapped Fred Feldman, owner of Triple Crown Records, which houses
such acts as Anterrabae, As Tall as Lions and Brand New.
The Rock imprint
has not been named and hasn’t signed any acts, but will be distributed by Alternative
Distribution Alliance, WMG’s independent distributor.
Executives at WMG
praised former Island/Def Jam Chairman Lyor Cohen for letting them “act
as entrepreneurs” in the new ventures.
Asylum was originally
founded by David Geffen. Geffen sold the company to Elektra, which was then
sold to Warner, creating the Warner/Elektra/Atlantic label group.
WEA was in turn
sold to former Universal Records boss Edgar Bronfman for over $2 billion dollars.