|Duck Down Music|
|Founder||Drew "Dru-Ha" Friedman |
Kenyatta "Buckshot" Blake
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Location||New York City|
Duck Down Music Inc is a New York City based record label, talent management, music-marketing, and consulting company founded by Drew "Dru-Ha" Friedman and Kenyatta "Buckshot" Blake in 1995. In Duck Down's 20-year existence, the Company has released over 40 albums and sold more than 3 million collective copies worldwide. Home of established hip hop groups Black Moon, Pharoahe Monch, Black Rob, 9th Wonder, KRS-One, B-Real of Cypress Hill, Boot Camp Clik, as well as relative newcomers: The Away Team, Statik Selektah, Random Axe, Promise, David Dallas, Young M.A., Marco Polo, Ruste Juxx, Torae, Blue Scholars, Special Teamz (Slaine of La Coka Nostra, Ed O.G., Jaysaun, DJ Jayceeoh) and Kidz in the Hall.
Duck Down (whose name derived from Boogie Down Productions' 1992 hit single of the same name) was originally established as a management company in 1994 to manage the careers of Buckshot's group Black Moon and Smif-N-Wessun. In 1995, co-owners Drew "Dru Ha" Friedman and Kenyatta "Buckshot" Blake launched Duck Down Music. After successful debut releases from Black Moon (Enta da Stage) and Smif-N-Wessun (Dah Shinin'), Duck Down entered into a label distribution deal with Priority Records, at the time EMI's top hip hop label, which was home of N.W.A and Master P's No Limit Records. Within the first year of the deal, Dru Ha & Buckshot introduced its two newest acts simultaneously: Heltah Skeltah and O.G.C. merging the two groups, forming a quintet, which they dubbed the Fab Five. At Priority/EMI, Duck Down eventually brought over the rest of its core roster, which consisted of the Boot Camp Clik, members: Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun, Heltah Skeltah, and O.G.C.. They released nine albums with Priority Records between 1995-2000.
In 2002, Duck Down entered a new physical distribution partnership with Navarre Corporation for their CD and DVD products in the U.S. and Canada. Duck Down retained its Digital Distribution rights and has its own direct deal with iTunes. Duck Down produces, manufactures and markets its products independently.
In 2005, Duck Down released Monkey Barz (Sean Price's solo debut), Chemistry (a collaborative album between Buckshot & producer 9th Wonder) and Smif 'n' Wessun: Reloaded. Collectively, the three albums cover Artwork was created by clothing designer Marc Ecko and marketed under the campaign: "Triple Threat".
In 2007, Duck Down switched distribution to Koch Records (now E1 Music) and began expanding its roster as they released albums from Special Teamz's 2007 Stereotypez, Kidz in the Hall's 2008 The In Crowd and 2010 Land of Make Believe, as well as Cypress Hill's front man B-Real's 2009 solo LP Smoke N Mirrors and KRS-One & Buckshot's 2009 Survival Skills - represented a few examples of albums showing the labels growing diversity.
In 2011, in addition to releasing Pharoahe Monch's W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) album, Duck Down Music formed 3D, a music-marketing and consulting firm with its own distribution network that's experienced in navigating the indie landscape. Executing a strategy where 3D provides General Management for Artist-owned indie sub-labels such as Talib Kweli's Javotti Media (Gutter Rainbows) and Blue Scholars. This allowed artists to tap into 3D's expertise, relationships, and networks, while retaining control of their projects and ownerships of their masters. Expanded services from 3D are a Music Supervision Department that places clients songs in film, TV, and video games and creation and sales of Artist Merchandising.
2012, saw the releases of Sean Price's highly anticipated Mic Tyson album, Skyzoo's A Dream Deferred,' 9th Wonder & Buckshot's 3rd collaborative album and releases from acts Murs & Fashawn and De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2. 2012 also saw the launch of Duck Down Visuals, a production division dedicated to documenting various artists and the lifestyle of their music through self-produced visual shorts. This included several viral Sean Price skits, profiles on up and coming acts; Freddie Gibbs, Ab-Soul etc., and special series like Verse Unheard.
In 2013, Duck Down Music was retained as project management for Talib Kweli's latest album, Prisoner of Conscious, distributed by EMI Label Services. Overseeing album deliverables, allocation of budget, co-op approvals, international distribution & overall marketing. Duck Down Music's 3D Division was also retained to consult for Cinematic Music Group assisting with Joey Bada$$ project management services with their distributor RED Distribution.
As of 2011, Duck Down has placed its artists' songs and original compositions on several notable TV shows (ESPN's Men's College Basketball programming, ESPN's SportsCenter,HBO's Hard Knocks & Entourage, MTV's Jersey Shore,CSI, The History Channel's Gangland,VH1's Basketball Wives, and more).
Other promotions include video Game placements (Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Tony Hawk: Ride, Madden NFL 09,NBA 2K11,Rockstar Games' Midnight Club: Los Angeles and more), movie placement (Limitless), and national brand campaigns (Smirnoff,Belvédère).
Duck Down's artists have previously aligned with several notable brands for their lifestyle and grassroots marketing campaigns such as Scion, Rockstar Games, Coca-Cola, Microsoft Zune,Pepsi Max,VTech, Reebok, and more.
In 2010 and 2011, Duck Down partnered with 2K Sports to present a unique opportunity for aspiring producers and MCs. This involved an open call for submissions for original sample-free compositions for a chance to receive placement in the NBA 2K's game soundtrack (NBA 2K11 and NBA 2K12) and a trip to NYC to perform at Duck Down's CMJ Showcase.
For NBA 2K12, the winners were the music producer/composer Alex Kresovich for his instrumental "The Return" (Ithaca, NY) and the rap group D.J.I.G. (Glassboro, NJ) for their song "Now's My Time" recorded over Alex's instrumental. Alex Kresovich's instrumental "The Return" was also used for the music in the debut commercial for NBA 2K12 which aired on May 31, 2011 during Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks.