About Duck Down Music Inc.
About Duck Down Music Inc.
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 18 year existence, the Company has released over 50 Albums and sold more than 3.5 million collective copies world wide. Home to established rap groups Black Moon, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, Pharoahe Monch, Black Rob, 9th Wonder & Buckshot, KRS-One & Buckshot, B-Real of Cypress Hill, Heltah Skeltah, Boot Camp Clik, as well as relative newcomers: Skyzoo, Random Axe (Sean Price, Black Milk, Guilty Simpson), David Dallas, Statik Selektah, The Away Team, Promise, Marco Polo, Ruste Juxx, Torae, Blue Scholars, 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 production deal with Priority Records, at the time the leading U.S. independent record label, which was home to 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, 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 Koch (now E1 Entertainment) for their CD and DVD products in the U.S. and Canada. Duck Down retained it's 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.
From 2007 to present Duck Down has blossomed. Expanding its roster and releasing 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 - just a few examples of Duck Down's growing diversity.
In 2011, in addition to releasing Pharoahe Monch's W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), Pete Rock & Smif N Wessun's Monumental, Random Axe's self-titled debut, and Black Rob's Game Tested, Streets Approved albums, 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.
As of 2013, Duck Down has placed their artists' songs and original compositions on several notable TV Shows (ESPN's Mens College Basketball programming & SportsCenter, HBO's Hard Knocks & Entourage, MTV's Jersey Shore, VH1's Basketball Wives, CSI, The History Channel's Gangland, and more), Video Game placements include (Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Tony Hawk: Ride, Madden NFL 09, NBA 2K11 & 2K12, Rockstar Games' Midnight Club: Los Angeles and more), Movie placement (Limitless), and national brand campaigns (Smirnoff & Belvédère).
Notable Marketing Campaigns:
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.