One year ago, Jon Robinson decided to leave his post at area hip-hop imprint Federation Records and launch his own music enterprise. He approached Chris Williams, also known as the Infamous PMC, and the two launched ReAl Entertainment. Copying a page from the Hair Club for Men, not only is Williams president of ReAl, he is also the labels hottest-selling artist to date.
"PMC has sold 1,700 units in three months," says Robinson, who appears on PMCs Mindscapes EP as Money Mogul. "Our biggest concentration is on the Internet (realent.artclique.com). On the Net, weve sold in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. And were just hitting Illinois." Other well-known locals appearing on the album are S.U.N., 1999 Source MC Battle winner Proof, Brown Bomber and S.W.A.T.
Pushing ReAl is a crew of people who are by no means strangers to area hip hop. Robinson/ Money Mogul is an old-schooler whos rocked with Detroits Most Wanted (DMWs Motski Ski also appears on PMCs CD), DJ Los and EZB. ReAls first release was a Mogul single called "Keep it Hot."
"We put that out just to get a buzz," Robinson says. "It was an attention getter."
The biggest obstacle facing ReAl is the suburban issue. As long as it took Detroit to get on the hip-hop map, the city has had the nerve to front on outlying suburbs in the past. Robinson gives this obstacle little energy. "A lot of people think the burbs aint got words. But we got words."
ReAls first-year track speaks for itself. PMCs album is selling well. The group has initiated talks with Sony 550, Power Records in Atlanta and Noo Trybe regarding production and distribution deals. All labels have expressed interest. ReAl also helped produce the first official documentary on Detroit hip hop, entitled The Laust Werld. Upcoming musical projects include an album from Detroit mainstays 5 Elementz, featuring Proof. An R&B singer named Markeba is also set to get some studio burn.
"We dont want anybody getting hung up on where were from, because we represent Michigan," says Robinson. Khary Kimani Turner covers the hip-hop nation for Metro Times. E-mail email@example.com