In honor of Independence Day, KEXP is saluting some of our favorite indie record labels who’s DIY-spirit helped revolutionize the music industry. As an independent radio station ourselves, KEXP is thrilled to give a 13-gun salute to these pioneers with a series of label spotlights through the Fourth of July.
Rhymesayers Entertainment, better known as simply Rhymesayers, is one of the most influential and prolific independent hip-hop labels in America. Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rhymesayers was founded in 1995 by rappers Slug and Ant, who together make up the hip-hop duo Atmosphere, as well as rapper Musab and Rhymesayer’s current C.E.O Brent Sayers (Siddiq). Since then, Rhymesayers has released albums from some of hip-hop’s smartest and hardest working rappers, including Brother Ali, Aesop Rock, Doomtree’s P.O.S., Grieves, MF DOOM, and of course, Atmosphere. Rhymesayers played a role in promoting Seattle’s own hip-hop scene, signing several Seattle-based rappers, including Grayskul and Jake One, and fostering a strong relationship between Seattle and Minneapolis ever since a friendship between Siddiq and Seattle hip-hop godfather and icon Jonathan Moore first united the Midwest and West Coast’s hip-hop communities in the early 2000s. Rhymesayers also puts on the Soundset music festival, an annual hip-hop music festival which for four years in a row has showcased some of hip-hop’s most talented independent artists. Check out music from some of Rhymesayer’s most well known artists, including a live KEXP in-studio session with Grieves, below:
Brother Ali - Uncle Sam Goddamn by rhymesayers