Top Hip Hop Record Labels 2012

Russell Simmons (founder of Def Jam Records)

Hip Hop originated in New York during the 1970s, Russell Simmons ( along with wealthy punk rocker Rick Rubin were the first pioneers of the hip hop music genre to create a record label empire; Def Jam records.  Def Jam introduced the world to legendary artists such as RUN DMC, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys in the 1980s which led to immediate success, turning Def Jam Records into the biggest record label in Hip Hop during this time period.  In today’s world Russell Simmons is more interested in yoga and occupying Wall Street rather than breaking the next big artist.  Therefore the door has opened for new moguls to takeover the throne and create empires for the 2012 generation.   GWOP Magazine staff has put together a list of the top Hip Hop/Rap Record labels for 2012.  Nas said ‘Hip Hop was dead in 2006’, well these labels are destined to prove that the music genre has only suffered a heart attack and there is no need to panic.  Checkout the full list after the jump.

Young Money Cash Money Brothers have set the standard for a record label in 2012.  #YMCMB has sold the most records out of any Hip Hop/Rap label this year with the release of Lil Wayne’s Carter IV (2x Platinum)  and Drake’s Take Care. 



Location: Miami

Founder: Lil Wayne

President: Mack Maine

Roster: Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Tyga, Bow Wow, Busta Rhymes, Mystikal, Lil Chuckee, Mack Maine, Birdman, Gudda Gudda, Short Dawg, Cory Gunz, Shanell, T-Pain, Torian Sellers, DJ Khaled

Style: Radio Killers. Money.

Maybach Music Group


Location: Miami, FL

Founder: Rick Ross

Roster: Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill, Pill, Triple C’s, Stalley, Masspike Miles, Teedra Moses, DJ Scream

Style: D-Boy Muzik.  Money, Cars, Clothes.

Shady 2.0


Founder: Eminem

Roster: Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf

Style: Lyricists

G.O.O.D. Music “Getting Out Our Dreams”

Location: New York, NY

Founder: Kanye West

Roster: Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, Cyhi Da Prynce, John Legend, Common, Kid Cudi, Mos Def

Style: Feel Good Hip Hop Music

Rostrum Records

Location: Pittsburg, PA

Founder: Benjy Grinberg

Artists: Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Lola Monroe

Style: Stoner Muzik, Party

Grand Hustle

Location: Atlanta, GA

Founder: T.I. & Jason Geter

Artists: T.I., B.O.B., P$C, Killer Mike, 8Ball & MJG, Young Dro, DJ Drama

Style: Trap Muzik

CTE (Corporate Thugz Entertainment)

Location: Atlanta, GA

Founder: Young Jeezy & Kinky B

Artists: Young Jeezy, 2 Eleven, Slick Pulla, Freddie Gibbs, Boo Rossini, JW, Tone Trump, Tru Breed, Lil Lody

Style: D Boy, Street Muzik

1017 BrickSquad

Location: Atlanta, GA

Founder: Gucci Mane

Artists: Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Scooter, Oj Da Juiceman, Frenchie, Wooh Da Kid, Slim Dunkin (R.I.P.)

Style: Street Muzik, Crunk, Trap, Party

  1. jurael aka lil rale said:

    Hey ymcmb b looking out 4 a 13 year old boy dat can rap and sing my name is jurael live in winston salem north carolina my rap name is lil rale and lil rallie

    • Anonymous said:


  2. said:

    hello i have a female cousin that nows how to rap.sing.and she write her own music she lives in s.c but willing to travel her name is shawnnaredd and she is on youtube what do she need to do to send you a demo or her cd thanks

  3. Anonymous said:

    waste yutes

  4. I know a rapper who goes by the name of Judoo and he writes his own music, his own ideas for the videos, and is definitely at the top of the list when it comes to rapping. one shot and i know he’ll make it. Mixtape coming soon!!!

  5. Anonymous said:

    Does any magazine editor/writer/journalist notice there IS a difference between music group and record label? Rick Ross (MMG) and Kanye West (GOOD Music) are both signed to the record label Def Jam Recordings (or IDJMG-which is a music group) of Universal Music Group. You all are something else.

  6. Anonymous said:

    @Anonymous 2. Who are you signed to, bum?

  7. Anonymous said:

    hot female artist i go by the name of miss assasin. Un sighned not looking for any hand outs only want to sighn with Gucci or freebandz check me out on youtube type in my bitch country im from ga my # is 4047099537. leave me a message if u want me to get down with the squad.

  8. C-MAC vs DOE said:


  9. dblue309 said:

    Check out my blog and listen to some of the up and coming talent on my page got some east coast and midwest guys flowing do there thing take a look it might be your newest member.

  10. Preme Montana said:

    Im looking for a record deal im 15 anf can

  11. Preme Montana said:

    Im 15 looking for a tecord deal..

  12. 2CleanandSupreme said:

    im a 16 year old rapper looking for a deal i go by the name of Hydro and i believe i have GREAT lyrical talent…

    • 2CleanandSupreme said:

      i also have a partner that i rap with his name is Arshad Frazier i really believe we deserve a chance to be heard….

      • Anonymous said:

        He isn’t lieng Arshad Frazier NEEDS TO BE HEARD look him up on GOOGLE. HE hasn’t even put out his serious projects. He has only put out songs for fans while he’s mastering his freshman album

  13. greg henderson said:

    How do I send you our music ?

    • GWOP said:

      send music to: (

  14. Physco said:

    where can i find a hip hop record, most nigga mova fucker wouldnt tell fucking black bastered

  15. Hi There Im A Hip Hop Producer and would like to know if you are recruiting producers my soundcloud name Predator.Beatz bless up the good work fam

  16. eric ferrell said:
  17. Anonymous said:

    me im not lookin for a record deal or nothing all these people before me is wasting they time and everyone know it if you dont do it yourself no one can do it for you so me honestly woudnt waste my time on these labels they doing their on thing dont get me they are some of hip hop greatest labels right now but just be self made and not help made

  18. Anonymous said: where you will find the most talented artist on here!!!

  19. i got bars for days my music speak for its self

  20. YMCMB is the type of organization i like

    for the rest of my life and by his grace i will join them soon

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