Music Industry News Network [10-01-2002]
West Coast Artist WC Finds A New Home At Def Jam
WC, respected Westside Connection member and solo artist makes his Def Jam Records debut with Ghetto Heisman on October 22. For the album, WC teams up with the industry's elite, including his Westside Connection partners Ice Cube and Mack 10, Scarface, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, MC Ren, and singers Nate Dogg, and Case. Production comes from heavy weights such as Battlecat, Scott Storch, Crazy Toones, Rick Rock, and Buckwild.
When coupling the appeal of WC's phenomenal Ghetto Heisman record with the powerful marketing and promotion muscle of his new label Def Jam Records, the album is destined to become one of his most successful entries in his catalog that also includes classic albums from Low Profile and WC And The MAAD Circle.
"For me being an individual who came up in the trenches where exposure from radio and video was always a big problem in my career, I felt like what better company to be with than Def Jam especially with them having the power to move mountains," WC says of joining the leading rap label that also includes multi-platinum MCs Jay-Z, LL Cool J, and Ja Rule.
"Def Jam is making a powerful statement with the release of WC's debut album on our label. We believe that WC is a great representation of the West Coast feel, sensibility and legacy-WC is what Def Jam represents. We strive to continue to push the envelope and build partnerships with artists that live the hip-hop culture," says Kevin Liles, President of Def Jam Music Group
In accordance with Def Jam tradition, WC's lead single, "The Streets," offers radio stations an undeniable, sonic gem. As the track bobs and weaves with pungent trombone and piano snippets, Nate Dogg croons the chorus, as WC makes his formal pledge to his loyal fan base.
"The streets is the foundation," WC says. "Without the foundation you have nothing to stand on. The streets is who supported me from day one. With, or without a radio, the streets is going to get it [the music]."
WC's allegiance to underground hip-hop fans from around the globe prompted him to title the album Ghetto Heisman, a name derived from the bestowed Heisman Trophy awarded annually to an exceptional college football player headed for the pros.
"I feel like I always been playing with pros, playing in a pro league, but I never received my props as a pro," WC says, explaining the album title. "Throughout the hardships, grit and grime in the midst of this game, I have been molded to become the professional."
WC's professionalism has never been in question. As a member in the group Low Profile in 1989, WC captured the ears of the hip-hop nation when he released the song "Pay Ya Dues." He released two albums with WC And The MAAD Circle, 1991's Ain't A Damn Thang Changed, and 1995's Curb Servin', that featured the Westside Connection's first release, "West Up." The Westside Connection's triple platinum Bow Down hit the streets the following year. WC established himself as a revered solo artist in 1998, when he issued The Shadiest One that reached Number Two on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
With Ghetto Heisman, WC not only appeases his preexisting fans, he proves his ability to reach the masses with his realistic take on relationships on "Flirt" featuring Case, Spanish-tinged "Let's Make A Deal," and socio-political "Tears Of A Killa" and "Something 2 Live 4."
Those who have watched WC's evolution will be impressed with his growth. "A lot of people figure when they see me, that I'm all about C-walking, and being a gangsta rapper out there, and he's crazy," WC says. "But when they get a chance to listen to my music, they can see that I'm a lot deeper than that. There's a lot more to me than that."
The Island Def Jam Music Group, home to a multi-cultural and diverse family of artists formed little more than 3 years ago, and has fast become one of the most successful and profitable labels in the industry. It is comprised of Island Records, Def Jam Recordings and Def Soul, and is in partnerships with American Recordings, Lost Highway Records, Roc-A-Fella Records, Murder Inc, Bloodline Records and Roadrunner Records. The roster boasts an array of talented artists including Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Ashanti, Ryan Adams, Nickelback, Musiq, Slipnot, American Hi Fi, Method Man, Hoobastan, Ja Rule, Sum 41, Slayer, Kelly Price, Saliva and DMX.
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