Koch Records, the primary subsidiary of Koch Entertainment LP, is the largest independent record label in the United States. It is also distributed by the Universal Music Group in Europe and in Asia under the name Koch Universal.
Koch Records was formed in May 1999
by Alex Ameen to serve as the North American
umbrella for Koch Entertainment
's labels. They would sign many country, classical, and rock acts including, Cledus T. Judd
, Chris Brubeck
, Bob James
, and an exclusive distribution with Suge Knight
's embattled Death Row Records
. The label soon began to gain ground on the other independent record labels in the United States. In the 2000s, they began to sign more hip hop acts and become one of the biggest hip hop labels in the world. They signed various distribution deals with labels like Open Bar Entertainment
, Terror Squad
, D-Block Records
, and others. In 2004, they were able to sign a deal with Snoop Dogg
and his Doggystyle Records
along with Mobb Deep
. They hired Snoop Dogg on to head up their western spin off Koch West. Koch also added on to their roster, Cam'ron
and his Diplomat Records
. Diplomat rapper, Jim Jones
would rise to prominince on the label through the deal. They would sign Yonkers rapper, J-Hood and his label On Da Grind Ent. Koch has also had releases from 2Pac
, Tha Dogg Pound
, Daz Dillinger
and Gangsta Advisory
. In 2007, when they signed J-Hood they gave him a big position in their Koch East division. In 2007, they signed a distribution deal with Foxy Brown
and her Black Rose Entertainment, as well as with Ray J
and his label Knockout Entertainment
. Former Roc-A-Fella Records
star Omillo Sparks
has signed a solo deal with Koch. Slim Thug
was signed to the label along with his Boss Hoggs label in late 2005. IN September 29, 2006 - KOCH Entertainment Distribution announced that have signed an exclusive distribution deal with Los Angeles- based Latin Thug Records, a newly launched label headed by Senen “Sen Dog” Reyes, a founding member of the groundbreaking rap group Cypress Hill. Latin Thug Records was formed by CEO Reyes to build a family business with his brother and acting VP of A&R Mellow Man Ace that would focus on releasing personal projects and developing new talent. The label represents the extended Latin Thug family, including solo projects from Sen and Mellow and collaborations with B Real, Soul Assassins and other members of the extended Cypress Hill family.
Koch Records also releases almost all children's music, such as Pokemon, Barney, Sesame Street, The Wiggles, and Fraggle Rock. Recently on May 22nd 2008 Koch Records released two albums from the children's show Thomas & Friends.
Koch Records has also recently announced released from platinum selling acts Dem Franchise Boyz and The Clipse.
In 2003, Master P
moved his No Limit Records
' roster to Koch Records for a chance of better promotion and more creative control. This deal added C-Murder
, Shatara, Silkk Tha Shocker
, and Lil' Romeo
to the label. In 2005, Romeo created a label that is to distribute No Limit through Koch, Gutta Music
. He would sign Rich Boyz
, Lil' D,Money Long Click and others to the label.
In an effort to increase promotion and save money, Koch and Epic Records
have teamed up on its new signees on joint ventures
from 2007 to the present.
Through these deals, Epic combines its A&R department and label promoters with Koch and they sign, cross-fund, and cross-promote their artists. Through this deal they have signed Chicago emcee Yung Berg
and his Yung Boss Records, and J.R.'s Bulega Heights, which is home to big-name artist Sean Kingston
. Both labels have extended this deal. Epic now distributes all Koch releases, similar to the Tommy Boy Records
deal with Warner Bros. Records
Terror Squad deal
In October 2007, Fat Joe
announced that he had moved his Terror Squad
label once again from EMI
to an exclusive distribution deal with Koch Records. Koch already had Terror Squad artist DJ Khaled
on their increasing roster, now they also have Fat Joe
and Tony Sunshine
to Koch. The first album to come from this deal was Terror Squad
's third album, A New Story.
Despite the deal, Fat Joe
's The Elephant in the Room
will be released on EMI
's Imperial Records
and Virgin Records
. All of his next albums will all be released on Koch Records.
Labels under Koch
Koch distributes over 100 music and DVD/video labels, including: