Solesides Record Label Info

Solesides Logo

Record Label NameSolesides
LocationNorthern California, USA
Notable ArtistsDJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, Blackalicious, DJ Krush, UNKLE
Known ForSocially conscious, positive, or anti-commercial lyrics
Notable ReleasesMarlboro Music, Macy Gray Europe, Latyrx Solesides UK
Founded AtUniversity of California's Davis campus
First RecordingSwan Lake
Transformed intoQuannum Projects (late 1997)
Legendary AlbumSolesides Greatest Bumps
Notable AlbumsRe-Endtroducing, a journey into Quannum space
RoleKeeping the underground hip-hop culture alive, offering progression for DJs, rappers and independent artist-owned labels

History and Founding of Solesides

Established in 1991, Solesides emerged as a prominent underground hip hop label in Northern California.

This Bay Area-based record label was the brainchild of a talented lineup of DJs and MCs, including the renowned DJ Shadow, prolific MC–producer Lyrics Born, and the dynamic duo Blackalicious.

Their unique music philosophy celebrated socially conscious, positive lyrics that often challenged commercial norms.

Key Members of the Solesides Label

The Solesides label was home to a variety of artists, each bringing their individual talents and unique styles to the table.

The most notable members include DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, Blackalicious, and Lateef the Truthspeaker. These artists were instrumental in establishing Solesides' reputation as an incubator for creative talent within the hip-hop scene.

Music Philosophy and Style

The music philosophy at Solesides prioritized creativity over commercialism. Their style was characterized by socially conscious lyrics that echoed positive messages or critiqued mainstream perspectives.

This innovative approach resonated with their audience and allowed them to carve out a unique niche within the underground hip hop scene.

Associated Artists with Solesides

In addition to nurturing homegrown talent, Solesides also collaborated with other artists such as DJ Krush and UNKLE. These partnerships enriched their repertoire and further solidified their standing within the underground music scene.

Highlight Release Albums by Solesides

Solesides Greatest Bumps, Latyrx's Marlboro Music in Germany 1997, Macy Gray Europe 1999, and Latyrx Solesides UK 1998 are just some of the noteworthy albums released under this label.

University of California Connection and Early Days

The roots of this record label can be traced back to the University of California's Davis campus where Chief Xcel was studying at that time.

In those early days, they made waves with their first recording “Swan Lake,” which they released on their own outlet – Solesides Records.

First Releases and Breakthroughs

“Swan Lake” marked their initial foray into music production under their own banner. This first release set a precedent for future projects, laying down a blueprint for success that would see them break new ground in underground hip hop.

Collaborative Projects and Highlights

Apart from individual projects, they also undertook collaborative efforts like “Greatest Bumps,” an album concept showcasing talent from across western United States.

These cooperative ventures helped establish them as industry game-changers capable of igniting fresh ideas.

Transition from Solesides to Quannum Projects

In late 1997, this collective underwent a transformative change when it rebranded itself as Quannum Projects. Despite this shift in identity, they continued to push boundaries in music production while staying true to their core values.

Influence in the Underground Hip-Hop Scene

Their influence on underground hip hop is undeniable. Albums like “Re-Endtroducing” provided an exclusive insight into Quannum's universe while throwing light on Blackalicious' college-era work (from 1992-'96).

The Role of Supporting Independent Artists

By paving paths for independent artists-owned labels along with providing platforms for DJs and rappers alike, Solesides played an instrumental role in fostering growth within underground hip-hop culture.