The year was 1997, when Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, founder of Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) created his first recording studio in a house in Carson California. Tiffith and TDE began making beats for rappers like Game, Juvenile, and others.
But it wasn’t until 2005 that TDE began laying the ground work to record label success by signing local rapper Jay Rock. After working with Warner Bros., and later Asylum Records following a merger the label begin planing the exit strategy.
That strategy landed them at the table with one of the top indie labels in the game, Strange Music, home to the infamous Tech N9ne.
TDE’s star continued to rise as they signed their second artist, Kendrick Lamar, who went by the name K-Dot at the time. More signees followed to include Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q.
The stars began to line up as Dr. Dre devloped an interest in Kendrick Lamar, the stand out artist at TDE, although every artist on the roster can hold their on. In March of 2012 Tiffith and TDE did a joint venture deal with Interscope Records, and Aftermath Entertainment (it’s safe to assume there were a few 0′s in the deal). Kendrick Lamar released his debut studio album on the new TDE/Interscope/Aftermath imprint.
It’s difficult to move in hip hop circles today without seeing the TDE brand, from BET’s 106 and Park, to the BET Hip Hop Music Awards cypher.
If the number of records that have been sold by Jimmy Iovine‘s Interscope Records, and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, expect to see much from the TDE camp.
Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and TDE is proof that you can succeed in hip hop if you have a plan, and work it.
Hats off TDE from hiphopmoneymagazine.com!
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