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Label:

Grapetree Records

Grapetree Records
Info:The label is founded by Knolly Williams in 1993 and is not active anymore since 2003. Knolly Williams is now a property broker. Grapetree Records profiled itself as being the biggest christian hip hop label in doing so they released quite a lot of albums. Criticism was given about the quality of the albums and the amount of artists featured on the label. Some think, if the efforts were focussed on the more talented artists the continuity of the label could have been maintained. Also the amount of activities and the available resources may have led to the label's demise. The Grapetree Music Group in the end had four sublabels, which were Grapetree Records (hip hop), GT latin (Spanish hip hop), Diamond Cut (gospel) and Phat Boy Recordings (R&B). It also released a magazine called Heaven's Hip-Hop.

Distribution
In April 1999 Grapetree signed a distribution deal with EMI's Sonic Fuel. This gave access to large retail chains.
But after an initial sales succes with Sonic Fuel EMI asked Grapetree in return to cut 60% of it's roster. For this Grapetree's 2000 product line was assigned to EMI's bigger distribution arm Chordant Distribution. That year the label's roster had eight rap artists, two urban singers, a reggae act and a pop outfit.
In April 2001 the Grapetree Music Group formed Grapetree Distribution. This would be the sole Christian-market distributor for the Grapetree labels, including Grapetree Records, Diamond Cut, GT Latin and Phat Boy. This meant that the Grapetree Music Group left Chordant Distribution.
But in March 2002 a distribution deal was also made with the Diamante Music Group. With other words Grapetree returned to it's former distribution agent. It seems Grapetree Distribution could not cope and needed help.

GT Platinum
In 2003 Grapetree Records came under ownership of GT Platinum. The label's approach goes back to it's former hip hop roots. The three new A&R directors were: Prime Minister (Midwest A&R Administrator), E-roc (East/West A&R Administrator) and Lil’ Raskull (Southwest A&R Administrator). “The truth of the matter is” said former Grapetree CEO Knolly Williams, “we grew so fast that we couldn’t handle the growth. From 1998-2000, Grapetree was everywhere; magazines, news media, etc! Growing that fast is very hard on a company and we couldn’t keep pace. We had to slow things down. With the emergence of GT Platinum, fans can look forward to many more years of great music and heartfelt ministry."
Still the new company GT Platinum was not able to change the course of time and Grapetree disappeared.

Legacy
Some artists felt wrongly done by the label's management. But of the old roster many artists are still active. In 2005 the compilation "Where r they now" got released. Artists featured are Antonious, Bruthaz Grimm, J-Roc, LG Wise, Lil' Raskull, Mr. Real, Pooh and Prime minister.

Award
Knolly Williams received the Ambassador Award for his contributions over the past 10 years to the Genre Of Holy Hip Hop Music And Ministry at the Holy Hip Hop awards in 2000.

Sources:
http://weeklywire.com
http://www.christianactivities.com
http://www.crosswalk.com
Country:United States
Releases:A few random releases on this label...
And Things Will Never Be The Same Bruthaz Grimm - And Things Will Never Be The Same
Letter 2 Tha Bruthaz Bruthaz Grimm - Letter 2 Tha Bruthaz
Listen Closely Ayeesha - Listen Closely
Rugged Witness Barry G. - Rugged Witness
A Lie N Science E-Roc - A Lie N Science

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