Sony Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings are pleased to announce the launch of Certified Classics–a new cross-platform urban catalog brand devoted to the curation and celebration of three decade’s worth of classic hip-hop and R&B music and culture with a focus on the revolutionary genre-defining recordings of the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s.
“The records of the classic hip-hop and contemporary R&B eras are bridges to the pop and youth cultures of the 21st century,” said Adam Block, President, Legacy Recordings. “Certified Classics is proud to be making this music available to longtime fans of hip-hop culture while introducing these groundbreaking artists’ albums and singles and the often incredible stories behind them to new generations of music lovers.”
Keeping the flow of hip-hop alive with playlists, streaming content and social media dialog, Certified Classics is live online at www.ThisIsCertified.com, an official destination website.
Certified is developing a rapidly-growing online presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while maintaining a commitment to high-quality physical 12″ vinyl releases, the bedrock of block parties and original DJ culture. Certified is releasing three 12″ vinyl exclusives–including the first-ever official issue of Big L’s legendary “Devil’s Son”–for the 10th Anniversary of Record Store Day 2017 (April 22, 2017).
Certified’s RSD 2017 exclusives include: DJ Muggs Presents…The Soul Assassins Chapter One, Giant Single: Profile Records Rap Anthology, Vol. 1 and the Big L – Devil’s Son EP (From The Vaults) (featuring five additional tracks).
Certified Classics is Legacy Recordings’ home for Sony Music’s groundbreaking Hip-Hop and R&B catalog. With access to a rich and diverse library that includes seminal titles, original masters, outtakes, live recordings and more from artists including Fugees, Maxwell, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Xscape, Aaliyah and many others, Certified aim to pay homage to the pioneers, innovators and architects of classic Hip-Hop and R&B by preserving, curating and reissuing repertoire from the 1980s through the early 2000s.
Launched in 2016, Certified creates new opportunities to experience a genre that both created and mirrored an emerging youth culture, a grassroots movement that started in-the-streets with two-turntables-and-a-microphone (or a boombox) and became a mainstream phenomenon while the 20th century crossed over into the 21st. Certified will provide contemporary music fans access to rare and unreleased albums, singles, remixes, photos and video footage from iconic labels that have come through the Sony label system such as Jive, Loud, Ruffhouse, J Records, Arista, LaFace, So So Def, Profile, RCA Records, Epic, and Columbia-all in an effort to tell stories that help illustrate the impact R&B and Hip-Hop have made on music and the world.
Certified will be revisiting classic album and looking at opportunities to create new state-of-the-art audio for releases. With full access to the SME vaults, Certified will be able to access and release previously unavailable audio, video, and photo content while using found material to create new original content including interviews with artists, label executives, producers, engineers, managers and others involved in the creation of classic hip-hop and modern R&B. In addition to reissuing classic albums on vinyl, Certified will be creating custom anniversary and commemorative editions.
Certified is designed to bridge the gap between old school soul, disco, and R&B to Hip-Hop, Rap, contemporary R&B and beyond connecting younger developing artists to the musical revolutionaries who continue to inspire generations.