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Cold Chillin' Records


Cold Chillin' Records

Parent company Traffic Entertainment
Founded 1986
Status Defunct
Distributor(s) Warner Bros. Records (1988–1993)
Reprise Records (1989-1993)
Epic Street (1995–1997)
Genre Hip hop
Contemporary R&B
Country of origin USA
Location New York, New York

Cold Chillin' Records was a record label that released some music in the golden age of hip hop from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. A producer-and-crew label founded by manager Tyrone Williams and run by Len Fichtelberg (d. November 4, 2010), most of the label's releases were by members of the Juice Crew, a loosely knit group of artists centered on producer Marley Marl. In 1998, the label shut down and the majority of its expansive catalog was bought by Massachusetts-based LandSpeed Records (now Traffic Entertainment).


Initially, Cold Chillin’ was a subsidiary of Prism Records, but label head Tyrone Williams and Fichtelberg decided to merge their companies, and Prism was absorbed by Cold Chillin’. In 1988, it signed a 5-year distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records, which remained intact for its full duration. However, since Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo's third album, Live And Let Die, was rejected by Warner Bros. on behalf of parent company Time Warner because of the anti-gangsta and anti-Time Warner sentiments that followed in the footsteps of the Cop Killer controversy involving hip hop artist Ice-T, Cold Chillin' opted to distribute the album independently, and, as such, it did so with various projects throughout the remaining years of activity, including its short-lived distribution deal with the Epic Street division of Epic Records, which released two albums by the label: the second album by Grand Daddy I.U. and the debut solo effort by Kool G. Rap.

Cold Chillin' also formed a sub-label named Livin’ Large, which released Roxanne Shanté's and YZ's second albums along with several titles by other artists, and was distributed by former Warner Bros. Records subsidiary Tommy Boy Records as part of its deal with Warner.

After it closed down in 1998, rights of the Cold Chillin' catalogue were purchased by Massachusetts-based LandSpeed Records, now known as Traffic Entertainment Group. Along with Ruthless Records, Death Row Records, and Rap-a-Lot Records, Cold Chillin' Records is widely respected for serious contributions to hip hop music during its formative years. In 2006, LandSpeed started releasing new versions of the classic albums in Cold Chillin’s’ catalog with their original artwork intact. However, the albums recorded by Big Daddy Kane remained with Warner Bros. Records, and Kool G. Rap's 4,5,6 remained with Epic Records.



Albums marked with (+) were distributed by Warner Bros. Records' sister label Reprise Records.
Albums marked with (*) were distributed by Epic Street.
Albums marked with (§) were distributed by Tommy Boy Records

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