Warner Records Unveils “Worldwide Joint Venture” with Mel Carter’s Second Estate Records in Latest Hip Hop Expansion


Warner Records has announced a “worldwide joint venture” (including distribution and marketing) with the newly founded Second Estate Records, the professional home of rapper 2rare.

Today, Warner Music Group (WMG) announced a collaboration between Warner Records and Second Estate Records. Former Republic Records vice president of A&R Mel Carter — not to be confused with the vocalist of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” or the eponymous marketing director of Interscope Records — recently introduced Second Estate.

The label quickly revealed their first signing, 2rare from Philadelphia, who released a track called “Q-Pid” with Lil Durk from Alamo Records in late August. Warner Records is now ready to “provide a full range of marketing and distribution services for Second Estate artists and recordings,” according to stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Mel Carter (who is said to have signed Giovani to Atlantic Records WMG a few years ago) is going to become a consultant to the Warner Records A&R team, “working closely” with executive directors Steve Carless and Karen Kwak.

Speaking about the deal in a statement, Warner Records CEO and co-chairman Aaron Bay-Shak said, “Mel is one of the best A&R minds in the business. He has already established himself as an invaluable resource for our team, and 2rare is just the beginning of what awaits us at Second Estate. Tom [Corson, chief Operating Officer of Warner Records] and I are thrilled with this new partnership and that we are joining such a visionary and dynamic force as Mel.”

Warner Records’ joint venture with Second Estate Records (which intends to “focus on developing young talent”) is one of several efforts by the comprehensive Warner Music Group to expand its presence in hip hop.
Of course, in October 2021, the Big Three label debuted under the label Asiatic Records, which, according to the executives, will strive to “offer Asia’s leading hip-hop artists the support they need to develop their careers.” Then, in November, Atlantic Records Benelux appeared, which, according to the management, “discovers and promotes the best young domestic hip-hop artists from all over the Benelux.”

And after the December launch of Atlantic Records Germany (which is “dedicated to the discovery and promotion of German hip-hop with a special focus on underground rap”), HipHopDX owner Warner Music acquired a minority stake in the Polish promoter earlier this year. and the management company Big Idea, focused on hip-hop.

Big Idea and WMG have announced that they will collaborate on initiatives, including the creation of new festivals. And given Big Idea’s seemingly far-reaching presence within the country, the investment also led to “about two dozen artists” being signed or distributed by Warner Music Poland.


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