How the Music Biz Boom Brought Xzibit’s Label Back to Life


A slew of previous label revivals, particularly hip-hop ones, is shaking up the business, from Patrick Moxey’s Payday Records to West Coast rap pioneer Priority, which each relaunched in 2017. Last 12 months, LOUD, the label behind Wu-Tang Clan, bounced again. And now, rapper-actor Xzibit is getting in on the motion with the resurrection of Open Bar Entertainment, the boutique label he based in 1999 underneath Sony Entertainment.

The newly impartial “hybrid” label now contains movie manufacturing and administration divisions. Xzibit, 44, who has launched eight albums, says the revamp will permit him to mentor aspiring artists: “I’m at all times going to create music, however now I wish to see how I can carry shine to anyone else.” The business, he says, is extra open than ever to artist-run labels like Dr. Dre’s Aftermath and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. “I do know what it feels prefer to be handled incorrectly” as an artist, says Xzibit, who’s presently on a 24-date U.S. tour with Cypress Hill and Hollywood Undead. “The experiences that I’ve had within the music business have given me a studying curve.”

Open Bar intends to deal with artists as equal companions. “Artists create the music, the vibe, every thing, however labels deserve [a higher] proportion? That’s not the best enterprise mannequin coming into 2019,” says Xzibit. The label celebrated its first signee, rapper James Savage (previously generally known as Jayo Felony), in February with the premiere of the four-part documentary Broken Ground on the Mammoth Film Festival in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. “We didn’t wish to simply throw a rap album on the market, so we created this storyline round it,” says Xzibit of the movie, which can also be his directorial debut. “There was artist improvement and advertising budgets that may be lots of of 1000’s, if not hundreds of thousands, of ,” he says of his label’s push for video. “Attention spans are totally different now. It’s about ensuring your followers are [always] engaged.”

This article initially ran within the March 9 concern of Billboard.