Ruthless Records Co-Founder Jerry Heller Launches Label With Producer Johnny J

Ruthless

Records co-founder Jerry Heller is set to return to the music industry with the

formation of his new record label, Streetlife/Klock Work Records.The

former NWA manager signed an agreement Tuesday (Jan. 16) with veteran producer

Johnny "J" and Pablito Vasquez, who will act as a liason between the

label’s artistic and business endeavors, in addition to dealing with contracts

for Heller and managing Streetlife Records."This

is the label where corporate meets street," Heller told AllHipHop.com in

a statement. "Our goal is to bring back economic integrity to the music business.

The record industry was supposed to be a win-win situation between the artists

and the labels. The way the business is structured now, however, many artists

on major labels have to sell close to a million and a half units to recoup and

break even. That is not what our label will be about. The music industry is supposed

to be about everyone involved making money."Heller’s

impact on West Coast Hip-Hop was cited by Johnny "J" as the reason behind

his involvement."Every

day I am heard on the radio throughout the country, and that has been consistent

throughout the years," said Johnny J, who owns the production company Klock

Work Entertainment and is best known for his groundbreaking work with Tupac

Shakur. "I decided to partner with Jerry Heller, who is a major figure,

responsible for the success of West Coast rap music," Johnny J continued.

"The fire would not have been set off without Jerry providing the business

acumen."While

observers may assume that Streetlife/Klock Work will specialize in rap, Vasquez

points out that the label "will not be tied down to or limited to certain

musical styles or genres."This

is going to be way past the hoods," Vasquez added. "It is going to be

about the streets, but we will release music and artists that will transcend both

cultures and transcend neighborhoods," he explained. "We are going to

be about where we came from, but we are not just limited to a hood mentality.

Our minds and our music go way beyond that."Streetlife/Klock

Work is the latest venture for Heller, who recently released the book Ruthless:

A Memoir. The

new company, though different, does share similarities to Ruthless, which Heller

founded with Eric "Eazy E" Wright."Part

of the Ruthless model was having great production, a strong business vision, and

a deep connection with the streets," said Heller."The new label will

focus on working with one album at a time, with more upcoming artists waiting

in the wings. Most independent labels over-extend themselves, leading to failure."

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