Mass Appeal Records, one of the best indie hip-hop labels, has reportedly struck a deal with Sony Music’s The Orchard. This agreement comes as a big move for Sony Music as it makes another swooping deal in the hip-hop sector, after acquiring J Erving’s distribution company Human Re-Sources in December.
Legendary rapper NAS is the co-owner of Mass Appeal Records and as a result of this deal, he will release his new material through The Orchard. The news comes against the backdrop of a phenomenal year for NAS, who recently won his first Grammy award for Best Rap Album for King’s Disease LP.
The entire roster of Mass Appeal will be able to access The Orchard’s artist and label services, which include marketing, distribution, sync licensing, data analysis, video services, rights management, advertising, radio promotion and many more.
This deal with Sony Music has been sort of a homecoming for NAS, where he released classic records like I Am…, It Was Written and Illmatic via Columbia during the 90’s.
NAS apparently expressed that coming back to Sony Music with a label of his own is a major milestone. He further added that this initiative is an opportunity to create a strong platform for the culture and educate & inspire the future generations.
This new agreement ends the three-year global distribution deal between Mass Appeal Records and Universal Music Group. However, this does not end their relationship completely. Mass Appeal Records is a major part of the parent company Mass Appeal Co., which makes content like podcasts, movies and TV. It also acts as an award-winning creative media partner for UMG, Google and Sony Music.
UMG acquired minority stakes in the parent company back in 2017. To add to that, UMG and Mass Appeal are still jointly operating Mass Appeal India, a label whose recent track Chal Bombay by their marquee signing DIVINE went Platinum 30 times in India whereas Kohinoor, one of DIVINE’s finest albums, recently went Platinum 20 times in India.
Currently, Mass Appeal is working on its ambitious project Hip Hop 50 which is scheduled for release in 2023.