Sony Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings are launching the formal rollout of Certified Classics. Legacy's cross-platform catalog brand is dedicated solely to curating what the companies describe as the "undisputed classics of hip-hop and R&B," focused on genre-defining recordings of the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s.
The Fugees, Maxwell, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Aaliyah and Xscape are just a few of the acts whose recordings are housed in the Sony Music vaults. Under the Certified banner, rare and unreleased albums, singles, remixes, photos and video footage will be reissued from legendary Sony-affiliated labels such as Jive, Loud, Ruffhouse, Arista, LaFace, So So Def, Profile, J Records, RCA, Epic and Columbia.
In a statement announcing Certified Classics' official launch, Adam Block, president of Legacy Recordings, said, "The records of the classic hip-hop and contemporary R&B eras are bridges to the pop and youth cultures of the 21st century. Certified Classics is proud to be making this music available to longtime fans of hip-hop culture while introducing these groundbreaking artists' albums and singles and the often incredible stories behind them to new generations of music lovers."
Beyond reissuing classic albums on vinyl, Certified will create custom anniversary and commemorative editions as well. Established in August 2016, the catalog brand will supplement its reissues with playlists, streaming content and social media conversations on its live website, www.ThisIsCertified.com.
Certified will christen its rollout with three 12" vinyl exclusive releases celebrating the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day (April 22):
Big L - Devil's Son EP (From the Vaults): Harlem, New York rapper Big L, who died in 1999, helped pioneer hip-hop's horrorcore sub-genre. His underground track "Devil's Son" is being released for the first time, along with an instrumental version and five bootlegged tracks from the rapper's Lifestyles Ov Da Poor & Dangerous sessions.
DJ Muggs Presents … The Soul Assassins Chapter 1: Producer DJ Muggs' hard-hitting album boasts verses from Cypress Hill, Dr. Dre, RZA, GZA, Goodie Mob, KRS-One, Mobb Deep, Wyclef Jean and others. To salute the album's 20th anniversary, the project is being reissued as a 12" picture disc featuring the set's original cover illustration and logo.
Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology Vol. 1: Influential Profile Records segued from disco to hip-hop in the early '80s, showcasing such talents as Run-D.M.C., Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, Rammelzee vs. K-Rob and Dana Dane. The two-album, red vinyl package is comprised of 15 classic hits.
Watch the Certified Classics Record Store Day video: