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|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.|
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.
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
Still the new company GT Platinum was not able to change the
course of time and Grapetree disappeared.
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.
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
|Releases:||A few random releases on this label...|
| God'z Original Gangstas - Break 'em Off (single)|
| Lord Byron - Keep Tha Fire Burning|
| Lil Raskull - Controverse All Star|
| E-Roc - Avalanche|
| Rubadub - Mind of a Gangster|