*** K-OTIX Universal Varsity Tee. Raiders colorway***
First of all, let me state that the opinions stated here are my own (Damien), and not necessarily those of the other members in the group.
At some point in their careers, most artists entertain the idea of working with a music label with hopes of distributing their recordings to a wider audience. In our earlier days, we endured the relentless over-promising of label interest, with would-be “managers” claiming that labels like Jive, Elektra, Mercury, and Def Jam were chomping at the bit to sign us. Obviously, none of these were ever true. This is the main reason why we began to self-distribute; we were going to get our music out by any means.
By the time 1999 rolled around, we’d already taken on a couple of distribution deals with companies like Landspeed and B.U.D.S Distribution. Our relationship with the latter led to some interest by a small indie label out of New York called Bronx Science. The owner was a guy named David, who seemed very cordial and enthusiastic when we spoke to him via conference call. He outlined very plainly what he wanted to offer: a 3-single, 1 album deal. We agreed to an advance (not enough to retire on, but more than we’d ever received in a lump sum before) with the full understanding that it would probably be the only bit of money that we’d ever see from them. After a legal review, both sides agreed to the contract, and a deal was under way.
It started off okay. The first single was “Mind Over Matter”. We honestly flipped out when we got our first few boxes of vinyl in. This was our first professionally duplicated record with a picture cover. The second was “World Renown”, easily our most popular song to date. The original agreement was to release the full album (Universal) shortly after the 2nd single, and with the buzz at a peak we thought it would be a great idea to pounce on it. All the masters for the album had been turned in. When we reached out to Bronx Science, they were suddenly silent. For weeks. When they came back around they stated that they wanted to release one more single because the buzz had died down (because they sat on their hands). We were concerned because between the previous two single, we’d already given 4 songs from the new album. Another single would mean that nearly half of our album would be released prior to the drop date. Although we disagreed, we complied and released “U Know The Name”
Now they were ready for the album. They told us to submit artwork for the album cover, and we enlisted a young, hungry FWMJ to do the cover (which was amazing). We submitted it 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Asked for feedback. Silence. Again.
By this time, we were about a week away from the release date. We were calling every day, but to no avail. One day, someone mentioned that they saw a banner for our new album on hiphopsite.com . I can’t remember who it was, but their initial comment was “What’s up with your cover, though?” And I’m like “Yeah cool, right?” They didn’t match my enthusiasm. “Just take a look at it for yourself. I don’t know if we’re talking about the same thing.” When I got home that day, I logged on to hiphopsite. And there, at the top of the page in a full-width banner, was a naked man floating though space.