Legendary Imperial Records Imprint Jumps Into Hip-Hop With Fat Joe
Terror Squad kingpin Fat Joe will release his seventh album Me, Myself and I in November via Imperial Records, EMI's newly formed urban music imprint known for its indie music demographic.
Fat Joe's album will be the label's first major distribution project by a non-indie artist for Imperial, a legendary label founded in 1946 by recording executive Lew Chudd.
The label hit big with recordings by Fats Domino, Irma Thomas, Johnny Rivers, The Hollies, Rick Nelson, T-Bone Walker and others.
Imperial Records resumed operations in June of 2006, when Neil Levine joined Caroline, Virgin/EMI Music's independent distribution division.
Levine, who was previously Worldwide General Manager of Rykodisc, left the company to reestablish the label, which focuses on the independent urban music market.
"Terror Squad Entertainment is so happy to be in the independent world right now and we're going to do amazing things," Fat Joe said. "I am so happy to be in control of my career."
Me, Myself and I is set to feature collaborations with the Game and Lil' Wayne, with production from Scott Storch and DJ Khaled, among others.
"I am very happy about the opportunity to be able to help launch such an important project with Terror Squad, Caroline and Virgin Records," said Levine, GM and Senior VP of Imperial Records. "I think this will be a major album to set the tone for the type of quality music that Imperial is going to stand behind and an important front runner as an example of the great working relationship that Imperial, Caroline and Virgin, EMI will have with each other."
The album's first single will be a track called "Make It Rain," produced by Storch.
Imperial and Terror Squad Entertainment will market and promote Me, Myself and I, which is slated for a fall 2006 release.
Levine also founded Penalty Recordings, which was home to Capone-N-Noreaga, The Beatnuts and others and has brought the imprint with him to EMI.