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Today, Hip-Hop fans should delighted to know ?uestlove formally announces the re-launch of his label Okayplayer after its eight year hiatus. According to Billboard Biz, Okayplayer Records, founded in 1999, will return as digital-only label with releases that will roll out sooner rather than later. Atlanta MC, Danny! (a.k.a. Danny Swain or D. Swain) is first at bat with his forthcoming album Payback, set to release September 25. An instrumental album of breakbeats from Roc-A-Fella engineer, producer, and A&R Young Guru titled Essentials Vol. 1 is due out soon after, with an October 9 release date.

The Root’s drummer plans to continue his goal of creating a space for like-minded artists to communicate directly with fans through the revitalized version of Okayplayer, which has worked with such artists as Common, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Jill Scott in the past. The soundscape of the industry has completely changed since Okayplayer’s last release in 2004, but ?uestlove seems to be confident in his label. “I’ve been waiting years for the right moment to re-launch the label,” said the Roots’ drummer in a press release. “And I’m eager to kick things off with Danny!.”

Okayplayer’s President, Daniel Petruzzi also expressed his confidence, stating via press release that Danny!’s new album “provides another avenue for our brand to further establish what we stand for….Not only does Danny!’s sound and lyrical content match our aesthetic, but his DIY approach to production, promotion, artwork, and branding make him an ideal candidate to partner with.”

Payback, features guest appearances from El-P, Blu, Phonte, Jim Jones, Tanya Morgan, Lil B, DJ Kay Slay, Rhymefest, Swizz Beatz and more. “My angst with the record industry has long been documented but it hasn’t jaded my outlook,” said Danny!, who’s been a behind the scenes fixture in Hip-Hop for some time. “I’m fortunate to finally have a team behind me that clearly believes in my vision.”

Young Guru‘s Young Guru: Essentials Vol 1 will be his solo debut featuring a collection of all original breakbeats produced and recorded entirely by himself. Essentials Vol 1 will also be the first of a trilogy of albums in this series, presented by Okayplayer. “I’m excited for what the future holds for Okayplayer Records,” ?uestlove noted, “and look forward to releasing more great projects over the next few years.” From the looks of thing, so are we.


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Photo: Def Jam