Ruff house : from the streets of Philly to the top of the '90s hip-hop charts

by Schwartz, Chris,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Allegheny Non-Fiction Collection ML429.S393 A3 2019x
Location  CLP - Allegheny
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  ML429.S393 A3 2019x
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction ML429.S393 A3 2019x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  ML429.S393 A3 2019x
How Ruffhouse Records founder Chris Schwartz overcame poverty, abuse, and addiction to start one of the most pivotal labels in hip-hop history and launch the careers of some of music's biggest stars

"All respect to Chris Schwartz. He is a great visionary."--Nas

As a struggling musician trying to catch a break in 1980s Philadelphia, Chris Schwartz navigated the crime-infested, morally bankrupt music industry to found and build one of the most successful hip-hop record labels in the world. That label was Ruffhouse, which launched the careers of Nas, The Fugees, Cypress Hill, and others, dominating the charts and generating global revenues of over one billion dollars.

Schwartz and his partner, Joe Nicolo, built Ruffhouse from one desk and a phone to one of hip-hop's most revered record companies while simultaneously struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism. A story of money, greed, envy, betrayal, violence, addiction, loss, and redemption, not to mention a whole lot of music, Ruffhouse reveals the inside story of the record companies, recording studios, tour buses, private jets, mansions, radio stations, and concert halls at the height of hip-hop's 1990s heyday while also uncovering the darker side of the business, from police stations to rehab clinics, courtrooms to prisons. Narrated in Schwartz's own candid, searing prose, Ruffhouse is a gripping portrayal of hip-hop culture at its tipping point, as it transitioned from urban curiosity to a global commercial platform.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Ruffhouse records founder and CEO Schwartz tells a predictable rags-to-riches tale in plain and often tedious prose. Growing up in 1960s and '70s Philadelphia with an alcoholic mother, a largely absent father, and bullying older brothers, Schwartz found refuge in music. He took an early interest in prog rock and electronic music, putting together his own prog band and playing around town. Schwartz was eventually drawn to hip-hop because it combined the storytelling element of R&B and the syncopation of electronic music. After a brief stint at Nicetown Records, doing sales and A&R, he left to start his own company. In early 1987, he partnered with Joe Nicolo to open the Ruffhouse label with one artist, rapper Schoolly D, and soon artists flocked to their studio in hopes of cutting an album. As Ruffhouse grew, it discovered artists that changed the face of rap music--such as Cypress Hill, the Fugees, Lauryn Hill, and Kriss Kross. In sometimes clich├ęd writing ("Little did we know that opportunity was on the front porch about to knock"), Schwartz concludes that his remarkable success in the record business grew out of his being willing to step into the unknown. Schwartz's insider's tale will appeal mainly to his die-hard fans of the label's musicians. (June)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Schwartz, Chris.
Nicolo, Joe.
Sound recording executives and producers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Biography.
Sound recording industry -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History.
Rap (Music) -- History.
Publisher New York, NY :Diversion Books,2019
Edition First Diversion Books edition.
Other Titles Ruffhouse
Contributors Hill, Lauryn, writer of foreword.
Questlove, writer of introduction.
Language English
Description xiii, 224 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
ISBN 9781635765991
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