The Roots Launch Record Label

The Roots Launch Record Label

By Gail Mitchell

The Roots

The Roots

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – Hip-hop act the Roots has formed a label, Okayplayer Records, in partnership with Decon, a multimedia design/entertainment company, reports.

The label derives its name from the Grammy-nominated group’s popular Web site, The Roots previously operated the Motive imprint through MCA.

Roots drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson will executive-produce the label’s inaugural release, a compilation featuring the Roots, Skillz, Jean Grae, Madlib, Aceyalone, Little Brother and Dilated Peoples.

The album also will include two unsigned acts; Okayplayer Records is accepting submissions until Feb. 13, with details available through the Web site. The album is slated for release this summer.

“There is an array of untapped talent out there, especially from the people who are members of the community,” Thompson said in a statement. “The Roots have always been a magnet for talented artists. This deal is important to us because we can now provide a vehicle for bringing deserving artists to the forefront.”

The group currently is recording a new album, “The Tipping Point,” for release on Geffen. It’s the follow-up to 2002’s “Phrenology,” which is nominated for the best rap album Grammy.