Be Very Afraid, Major Labels: BMG Acquires Independent Hip Hop Label RBC

The late Lamont Coleman (aka 'Big L')
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The late Lamont Coleman (aka 'Big L')
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The late Lamont Coleman (aka ‘Big L’)

On Thursday, BMG announced the acquisition of RBC Records, a Los Angeles hip-hop and rap label that began operations in 2002.

Diversified music giant BMG continues to extend its tentacles into recordings — including superstar recordings.  Now, the company is cranking the volume on its expansion march.

RBC’s catalog includes a variety of artists such as Chief Keef, Waka Flocka Flame, Flippa (who is also known as Skippa Da Flippa), Gucci Mane and Big L.  They currently have in excess of 500 releases, which have collectively sold millions of copies in total.

BMG’s acquisition of RBC Records is the company’s first since buying Nashville-based BBR Music Group in February of 2017.  It also comes in the wake of recent hip hop successes for BMG, which include titles such as “4Eva Is A Mighty Long Time” by K.R.I.T., “Deeply Rooted” from Scarface as well as many successes from its partner Commission Music.

RBC Records, founded by Ben Grossi and Brian Shafton, is a full-service independent label that specializes in distribution and digital marketing.

Once upon a time, successful indies were absorbed into the major label machine.  Now, the M&A landscape is radically different, with a range of diversified suitors potentially snapping up valuable recording catalogs.  But RBC is more than just a catalog, of course, making its future potential even more exciting.

The entire RBC operation, including all employees, will continue operating out of Los Angeles, with Shafton now reporting to Tom “Grover” Biery, who is the Executive Vice President of Recorded Music for BMG.

The label is also expected to release new music from Chief Keef and Flippa, with others coming soon after.

Zach Katz, President of Marketing and Repertoire for BMG US, said that he admires what RBC Records has been able to accomplish independently.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.