Wild Pitch Records
Original contact info:
333 East 43rd Street
New York, NY
Created in 1985 by Stu Fine, Wild Pitch was a label that guaranteed a rugged underground sound from every album & 12″ single released. It boasted a classic artist roster of Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth, Gang Starr, Chill Rob G & Main Source. Around 1991 the label was boosted by securing a distribution deal with EMI & they went on to add The UMC’s, Ultramagnetic MC’s, The Coup, Hard Knocks, Superlover Cee & Casanova Rud & O.C.
The majority of the 12″ singles are now collectors items. As for the albums, Lord Finesse’s “Funky Technician”(1990) & Gang Starr’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy”(1989), as sparse sounding as they are, are must haves for anyone who loves hip hop from the 89/90 era. It’s “Breaking Atoms”(1991) by Main Source that is probably the most sought after & talked about album released by Wild Pitch. It was full of hard beats, jazzy samples, each track has a diversity to it & showcases Large Professor’s production skills to the maximum.
Back to the 12” singles, the Flavor Unit’s Chill Rob G had the B-Side of his New York radio hit “Court Is In Session”, “Let The Words Flow” sampled without permission. In 1989, the acapella version of his song was sampled illegally by the German pop-dance crew “Snap!” in their hit record “The Power”. The song gained popularity in Europe & Snap! recruited former US soldier Durron Butler/Turbo B to record a new version of the song, rather than continue lip-syncing the original Chill Rob G lyrics because Arista records (Snap!’s label) could not use them, due to copyright. It was this version that was subsequently used and promoted as Snap!’s official version. Chill Rob G responded by recording his own version “The Power” using an almost identical music backing to what Snap! had used, which Wild Pitch released in 1990.
The ’91 distribution deal with EMI was expected to catapult Wild Pitch into the big time of Hip Hop, but it never really materialized. Even with signing legends Ultramagnetic MC’s & Superlover Cee & Casanova Rud in ’93, the label seemed to lose the popularity that it had when it was independent. Little success came from acts like female rapper N-Tyce, Hard Knocks, Brokin English Klik, Street Military & the underrated Oakland based group The Coup. The UMC’s went through a dramatic transformation from the almost hippy like first album image, to a hardcore style on the second album. It’s rumored that EMI put Wild Pitch under heavy pressure to put their music out in a certain way & have control over artistic impression of their acts.
Things began to look up in ’94 when MC Serch brought O.C. to the attention of Wild Pitch. He was signed up & released the classic single “Time’s Up”, followed by an underground classic album “Word…Life”. Also that year Main Source released their second album “Fuck What You Think”, minus Large Professor (who had gone solo), but with Mikey D on vocals instead. The album was eventually shelved when the group broke up not long after the release.
With less artists & less releases coming out, EMI ended the distribution deal & Wild Pitch as a label was no more. The label’s back catalogue was eventually acquired by Jay Faires, who tried to reactivate it as part of his short-lived JCOR Entertainment label. Faires re-released some of the label’s catalogue on April 22, 2008, through Fontana Distribution as the majority of its albums had been released in the early 1990’s and was out of print, just as were the 12″ singles.
Wild Pitch Records Hip Hop 12″ & album discography @ Discogs here