Huzzah! Billboard broke the news yesterday at SXSW that Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire has signed a record deal with Universal Republic Records. The Brooklyn-based eXquire’s promotion to the majors continues the thought that raw New York rappers are starting to appeal to the industry again. Last year Harlem upstart A$AP Rocky was dealt a $3 million deal with R.C.A., the Flatbush Zombies received a co-sign from popstress Lana Del Rey, and 17-year-old Joey Bada$$ has copped comparisons to a young Nas on the basis of his “Survival Tactics” song.
But if New York hip-hop has a hometown hero at the moment, it’s chef-turned-rapper Action Bronson — although for now Bronson seems to have escaped the majors’ attention. Is he next or even on the major’s radar? Hive asked Bronson whether, like eXquire, he had been courted by any major labels. “Nobody has approached me,” he told Hive from Austin last night. “I have no idea [if they have any interest in me]. I guess if there was I would know about it. I guess there isn’t right now.”
Bronson added that indie labels first tried to secure his services “around March last year,” but for now he’s content to continue releasing music on a project by project basis: Earlier this week he dropped the Blue Chips free mixtape with Fool’s Gold producer Party Supplies; that will be followed by an album with the Alchemist, and then a sequel to last year’s Dr. Lecter solo set, titled Mr. Wonderful.
It shouldn’t be long before the majors start sniffing around though: Bronson’s output is prolific, and he has the personality and charisma to appeal to a wide range of demographics. It wouldn’t even be a stretch to envision him fitting into the Shady roster. But for now, he’s not stressing the industry games. “I take it a day at a time,” Bronson said, before returning to his evening meal. “I don’t really worry about [major labels]. If it happens, it happens. But it’s got to be the right situation I’m not going to worry about anything.”