Over the course of nine albums in the 2000s for their producer-led Beat Generation series, BBE adopted an unusual stance. “Do what you want,” their artists were told for probably the first time in their careers. The label’s enormously liberal approach was the antithesis of stiff major record label A&R practices, their forward thinking rewarded handsomely by a truly diverse set of albums from some of the world’s most capable hip-hop architects. Among those picked to contribute were Golden Era greats (Marley Marl; Jazzy Jeff); acclaimed DJ/producers whose work habitually blurred genre lines (King Britt; DJ Spinna; Madlib); and those whose regular gigs didn’t afford them the creative freedom they craved (Will.i.am).
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