KENT ENTERTAINMENT’S MOREY ALEXANDER
LAS VEGAS BASED “GODFATHER OF GANGSTA RAP”
KEEPS HIS 50 YEAR MUSICAL LEGACY THRIVING
WITH THE KENT BLUES LABEL AND THE STABLE OF
RAP ARTISTS ON HIS FIRST KUT LABEL
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Alexander’s Roster Includes Grammy nominated Bluesman John Lee
Hooker, Jr. And Keyboardist Deacon Jones, In Addition To
Rappers Slick And The Shock Mob, King Kon, Latin Rapper Joe Serious, Jazz Rapper Will Roc and Breakout Female Gangsta Rapper Mo Wiley
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Kent’s Diverse Catalog Includes The 2Pac Memorial Project
‘Dare 2 Struggle’ And The Compilation
‘100 Years Of Surfing: Celebrating Surfing’s Greatest Hits’
Currently celebrating an incredible 50 years in the music business, “Godfather Of Rap” Morey Alexander could easily kick back and rest on his formidable laurels: launching the careers of rap pioneers N.W.A , Easy-E , Ice Cube , Mellow Man Ace, Kid Frost and Dr. Dre following a lengthy run as a top blues producer, marketing manager and impresario whose charges at the Legendary Blues Label, KENT RECORDS included B.B. King , Ike & Tina Turner , Charlie Musselwhite and Etta James . He also worked with great artists such as Steve Miller, Barry Goldberg , Johnny Otis, Harvey Mandel and many other noteworthy musical giants.
Despite these trying times in the music industry, the Las Vegas based Alexander continues to look ahead optimistically and find exciting, innovative ways to break deserving new artists on the rap and blues fronts. As the owner of Kent Entertainment (www.kententertainment.com) and its two subsidiary independent labels, the Kent Blues Label and the rap-driven FirstKut , he has experienced his share of distribution struggles with unscrupulous companies these past few years.
Yet Alexander—who recently inked a new deal with Super D Distribution–has still managed to achieve great breakthrough success with a powerful stable of artists, including (on the rap end of things) Slick of the Shock Mob ( Elements of the Game ), Slick’s son King Con , BOO-YAA T.R.I.B.E ( Angry Samoans ), Canibus and Phoenix Orion ( Def Con Zero ) and Latin rapper Joe Serious ( King of the West ). FirstKut also scored a major hit with Dare 2 Struggle: A 2Pac Tribute that pays homage to the music of the late Tupac Shakur with contributions from Dr. Mutulu Shakur (the late rapper’s dad), Mopreme (of Thug Life ), Slick , Johnny “J” , TQ and incarcerated rappers from behind the wall.
Alexander and Slick are currently involved in a joint venture to manage and produce up and coming rappers and helping establish them as stars that will keep the genre thriving for many years. Both are excited about working with one of FirstKut’s new artists, breakout Bay Area based female gangsta rapper Mo Wiley , a real deal artist with major street cred whose songs reflect the struggles of and redemption through her rough and tumble childhood and early young adulthood. In anticipation of the release of her debut album Major League Ballin‘, FirstKut will soon be releasing her debut singles, the R&B flavored “ These Boys ” and the edgy club track “ You Can’t Touch This .”
Alexander also recently struck up a working relationship with top producer and mastering engineer Tom Parham , who recently set up a new studio facility in Vegas and will be working with some of Kent Entertainment’s artists. Alexander is also literally jazzed these days by his re-signing of veteran jazz-rap artist and keyboardist Will Roc . Alexander’s association with Roc extends back many years, back to the N.W.A. and Easy-E days. Most recently, Roc produced the Grammy nominated, W.C. Handy Award winning album Blues With A Vengeance by Kent Blues label artist John Lee Hooker, Jr . (son of the legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker, Sr. ). In addition to producing such legendary jazz artists as Herbie Hancock , Roc was a member of Ghetto Guerillas and The Uzi Brothers . FirstKut will be releasing his new album with his latest ensemble Vicious Groove .
FirstKut will also soon be completing an exciting project by ABC, a Vegas based rapper produced by Slick who was killed recently in a tragic home invasion incident. All proceeds from ABC’s recording will go to a fund to help the artist’s young children.
Because Alexander is so renowned for his groundbreaking role in rap music, people sometimes forget his love for and legacy in the world of blues. In addition to John Lee Hooker, Jr., the Kent Blues Label also has Deacon Jones , a longtime keyboardist with Hooker, Sr. whose upcoming recording will be called Jonesin’ For Money . The all-star session will include performances by Hooker, Sr., Eddie Money , Gregg Allman , Dr. John and Lydia Pence . Another key release on the blues label is Sweet Home Chicago , a long lost piece of musical history that bridges the gap between the modern blues movement of the 60′s and 70′s rock era; the star-studded date includes Barry Goldberg , Harvey “The Snake” Mandel , Charlie Musselwhite, Mike Bloomfield , Bobby Jones , Robben Ford and Phil Upchurch .
The Kent Catalog also includes the best selling compilation 100 Years Of Surfing: Celebrating Surfing’s Greatest Hits , featuring classics like “ Pipeline ” and “ Wipeout ” and songs by Mike Love Of The Beach Boys , Jan & Dean , The Ventures and Dick Dale . The collection also features a newly recorded revamp of a classic Ventures song, now called “ Deja Surf 2008 .”
One of the music industry’s top advocates for independent artists throughout his career, Alexander has never been shy about sharing his tough opinions on the state of the business. His most recent diatribe “The Anatomy Of A Failed Distribution System” takes a hard look at the way artists and indie record labels are suffering due to poorly managed distribution systems and bad retailing strategies. His harsh views on these issues and some tough personal learning experiences aside, he feels like there has never been a better time for indie artists and their music to thrive.
“By merging all of these companies together into huge conglomerates, the major labels are not only failing financially but they have failed the artists who are the lifeblood of the business,” says Alexander. “With so many artists, the majors cannot possibly do justice to the rosters they have, and they’re stuck in an old business model which just is not working anymore. With so many independent record stores going out of business and only a handful of top distributors that every company like mine seems to be going through, we have to be creative about how we are marketing our products and artists. Retail is still an important component, but Kent is doing an overall campaign that incorporates our strong and growing internet presence, which to this point has generated more sales than in-store purchases.
“Our deals with the artists include internet representation, internet marketing and merchandising, and give them control over the music they make, the touring they do and the ultimate paths they take in their careers,” he adds. “If we can start getting our artists back in the stores under our new distribution deal with Super D, and keep developing our online ventures, there are unlimited opportunities for Kent’s labels and our stable of great artists. We’re seeing the evolution of the music industry, and are aware that in many ways we’re going back to basics. No matter how massive the challenges may be, the key to success is staying one step ahead of the curve so that artists have an opportunity to have their music heard and appreciated on a global scale.”