6 Independent and Business Savvy Hip-Hop Labels
Star Trak Entertainment is a record label, founded by record producers Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams in 2001. Today it operates as a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, and is distributed by Interscope Records. The label was partially funded by Arista Records in a joint-venture.
Williams signed longtime friends, Clipse, a duo of brothers Malice and Pusha-T who released their debut album, Lord Willin’, in 2002. After the success of the album, the label would go on to sign Kelis, Vanessa Marquez, and Fam-Lay among others. In 2004, Star Track signed Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle Records and released Snoop’s R&G : The Masterpiece, a platinum-seller. Star Trak moved to Interscope ownership and lost Snoop, but gained a new signee named Robin Thicke. In 2010, Williams was among the composers on the soundtrack for the animated hit Despicable Me, which featured the Neptunes and Robin Thicke.