Ruffhouse: From the Streets of Philly to the Top of the '90s Hip-Hop Charts

Ruffhouse: From the Streets of Philly to the Top of the '90s Hip-Hop Charts


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“All respect to Chris Schwartz. He is a great visionary.”—Nas

"Fans of these artists will love the insider information."—Library Journal

Before he started one of the most pivotal labels in hip-hop history, Chris Schwartz was a musician struggling to catch a break in 1980s Philadelphia. Ruffhouse divulges how he navigated the crime-infested, morally bankrupt music industry to found and build one of the world’s most successful hip-hop labels and debuted some of its biggest stars. Ruffhouse Records launched the careers of Nas, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Cypress Hill, Kris Koss, and others, dominating the charts and generating global revenues of over one billion dollars.

A saga 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 industry’s darker side, 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.

"Schwartz's insider tale will appeal."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635767308
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 07/21/2020
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 741,081
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Chris Schwartz is the founder and CEO of Ruffhouse Records. At its height, Ruffhouse’s roster included The Fugees, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Cypress Hill, Kriss Kross, and Kool Keith, among others. Ruffhouse Records sold more than 120 million records worldwide, generating over a billion dollars in sales and a multitude of Grammy Awards. Chris has been the recipient of many awards celebrating his success, including 250 gold and platinum records and a plaque on the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Walk of Fame. He lives with his wife and daughter in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ms. Lauryn Hill ix

Introduction Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson xi

Prologue 1

1 Fractured Fairy Tales 3

2 Haze Gray and Underway 21

3 1618 N. Broad Street 45

4 Gucci Time 65

5 The Big Red Machine 83

6 Hand on the Pump 99

7 Tricks of the Shade 117

8 Fu-Gee-La 131

9 Ready or Not 149

10 Gone Til November 165

11 1998: Bath, England 183

12 After the Gold Rush 195

Acknowledgments 209

About the Author 212

Index 213

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