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WARNER UNMASKS HIP-HOP JV

Warner Records has entered into a joint venture with Masked Records, a new label formed by hip-hop entrepreneur Roger Gengo, founder of the Masked Gorilla website and UNMASKED concert series.

The label’s first signing is 2KBABY, whose debut track, “Old Streets,” jhas been streamed more than 2.5m times.

 “What he’s done as a young entrepreneur over the past decade has been nothing short of amazing—literally redefining the hip-hop landscape, time and time again identifying groundbreaking artists while they were still way under the radar,” said Warner Records Co-Chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck. “And that’s what real A&R is all about—great ears, impeccable taste, and the discovery and nurturing of original talent. We’re looking forward to giving Roger and Masked the platform and resources to grow organically and create culture-shifting music.”

Credited with founding and incubating “Soundcloud Rap,” Gengo created Masked Gorilla 10 years ago when he was 17 years old. Masked Gorilla produced Mac Miller’s first-ever video interview and featured early video interviews with Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples and Childish Gambino.

In 2014, Gengo founded the UNMASKED Concert Series that produced concerts in Los Angeles Tyler, the Creator, Playboi Carti, Denzel Curry and others.

“Over the years I’ve been able to establish incredible relationships with artists by not asking how I could benefit, but instead asking how I could be of service,” Gengo said. “As my insight grew, my drive to help and influence artists’ careers in a more major way grew as well.

"It’s always been my dream to not only service these artists in a more major way with a record label, but to do it in partnership with a company that has the vision, integrity, and progressive environment to best serve the artists who have trusted us with their music.

"And I know I’ve found that with Aaron, Max LousadaTom CorsonJeff Sosnow and the whole team at Warner. They truly believe in me as much as I believe in these artists, and I can’t wait to get started.”

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