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The Beauty of Independence: Fool's Gold Records

Okla Jones, III
Posted by Okla Jones, III on Jul 17


Prior to the emergence of the internet, the goal of many musicians was to receive a contract from a major record label. The long hours of recording and the late-night performances in local bars, nightclubs and lounges were all in hopes of one day being recognized by an A&R or label head. Although the ability to promote and distribute to the masses, along with certain financial upsides; some artists felt (and still feel) more inclined to sign with an independent label as opposed to a major record company. What “going independent” does for many artists is that it gives them more room to explore creatively. Although their product might not reach as many ears, it won’t be tainted by the sometimes-restrictive standards of the music industry. One of the more progressive independent labels is in hip-hop today is Fool’s Gold Records, which celebrates in 10th anniversary this year.

In 2007, DJs Alain “A-Trak” Macklovitch and Nick “Catchdubs” Barat founded Fool’s Gold Records in Brooklyn, New York, during a period where music-sharing sites began to increase in usage and the industry saw a decline in record sales, as well as overall profitability. Fool’s Gold was unique in the fact that instead of trying to follow the musical and stylistic trends of the time, they aimed to create them. By allowing its musicians to maintain their artistic integrity rather than focusing on record sales driven by a “radio-friendly” body of work, the product that Fool’s Gold puts out is both refreshing and original. Throughout its ten-year history, this record label has been home to Kid Cudi, Just Blaze, The Cool Kids and Run The Jewels, just to name a few. Although their past roster was impressive, A-Trak and Nick continue to search for new talent, while at the same time creating their own stars.

 “I want to grow Fool’s Gold Day Off into the biggest hip-hop festival in North America. What we do best is the curation of the lineup, and we always mix the classic with the new. We’re able to bring the energy of the electronic festivals to a hip-hop stage, and now we just want to continue growing it.” – Alain “A-Trak” Macklovitch

In 2010, the label created and executed their first-annual Fool’s Gold Day Off Festival in an empty parking lot located in Brooklyn. Since then, it has grown from a small concert series into a global showcase that takes place in cities such as Paris, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles and London. During this year’s A3C Festival and Conference, the Fool’s Gold Day Off will make its way to Atlanta on October 7th. For its 10 anniversary, the festival will showcase A-Trak, DJ Drama & Don Cannon, Zaytoven, Smino, Kodie Shane, Maxo Kream, Wifisfuneral, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, ManMan Savage, Nick Catchdubs, Kittens, Madeaux, and more special guests. It is definitely an unforgettable experience that every music lover should encounter at least once in their lives.

Have you copped your ticket to Fool's Gold DAY OFF at A3C 2017? 

Buy Your Pass Today!

Okla Jones, III

Written by Okla Jones, III

Okla is a visual artist, journalist and content creator from New Orleans, La., who strives for achievement in every field of human endeavor.

Topics: A-Trak, Fool's Gold Records, Day Off

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