Suave Records Announces Deal With Koch

Two of Hip-Hop’s music’s best known independent record labels have come together for a new joint venture.

Koch Records will work with Houston, Texas based pioneering independent label Suave Records (formerly known as Suave House Records), to release a series of albums from 8Ball & MJG, Gillie Da Kid and Jiggolo.

For Koch’s general manager Alan Grunblatt, the partnership marks a new chapter in a longstanding relationship with Suave House Records founder, Tony Draper.

"Tony and I have had tremendous success with Suave House Records in the late '90s," said Grunblatt, who predicted imminent success. "He is a brilliant record man and I'm sure we're going to have lots of gold artists as part of this new venture."

The Suave Records/Koch deal isn’t the first time Grunblatt has worked alongside Draper, who received support from his longtime friend during the early days of Relativity Records, an early distributor of Suave House Records.

As one of the leading independent labels in music, Suave House Records played an important role in bringing Southern rap to the forefront, by releasing a number of influential albums, including 8Ball & MJG’s classic 1993 debut album Comin' Out Hard.

In recent years, Draper has worked with various rap veterans, including working with Ice Cube on his independent release Laugh Now, Cry Later, which has moved over 600,000 copies.

Additionally, Draper was instrumental in working with Virginia rap group the Clipse in obtaining ownership of their masters through a groundbreaking, five-year 50/50 deal at Sony/Columbia Records.

The first release under the Suave Records/Koch deal will be 8Ball & MJG's Greatest Hits.

The album, which will include popular selections such as "Space Age Pimpin'," "Pimp In My Own Rhyme" and "Don't Flex," is the first compilation of the duo's classic catalogue in a "Best Of" format.

8Ball & MJG's Greatest Hits is slated to hit stores on May 13.