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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Overview

How Ruffhouse Records founder Chris Schwartz overcame poverty, abuse, and addiction to start one of the most pivotal labels in hip-hop history and launch the careers of some of music's biggest stars


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


As a struggling musician trying to catch a break in 1980s Philadelphia, Chris Schwartz navigated the crime-infested, morally bankrupt music industry to found and build one of the most successful hip-hop record labels in the world. That label was Ruffhouse, which launched the careers of Nas, The Fugees, Cypress Hill, and others, dominating the charts and generating global revenues of over one billion dollars.

Schwartz and his partner, Joe Nicolo, built Ruffhouse from one desk and a phone to one of hip-hop's most revered record companies while simultaneously struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism. A story 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 darker side of the business, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635765991
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Sales rank: 439,108
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(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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