Until recently, Arizona hip-hop didn't really have a face, but now, it has three: Ritchie with a T, Stepa J. Groggs, and Parker Corey, the dudes from Injury Reserve. Time will tell whether or not their mix of Corey's eclectic, experimental beats and Ritchie and Stepa's aggressive raps will come to define the Valley's sound, but the group itself isn't waiting around to find out.
Yesterday afternoon, Injury Reserve announced via a lengthy note on Twitter that they had signed to Loma Vista Recordings. They also announced a new, self-titled album will be delivered soon.
Possibly to avoid the kind of confusion and dismay that happens when other fiercely independent rap groups suddenly sign a record contract (looking at you, Brockhampton), they explained their reasoning for joining the label, which is an imprint of the Universal-distributed Concord Music Group.
"From the most major majors to the most mom'n'pop indies we've taken many meetings and had plenty placed in front of us, but nothing seemed quite right until we met Kyambo 'Hip Hop' Joshua," the group writes. For those unaware, Kyambo Joshua is a major name in the music business; he was once Jay-Z's A&R rep, and worked closely with Roc-A-Fella Records to sign Kanye West to the label in 1998. He's a big deal, and the guys in Injury Reserve go on to explain how the passion he felt for their new material - "twenty or so demos from our time cooped up in Flagstaff," where they recorded earlier this year - rivaled that of their original manager Nick Herbert.
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"No one else truly saw the lineage we are trying to follow and genuinely believed that we would. The lineage of people who proved that pushing the bar was a path to success in its own right. So when the person who broke your biggest idol wants to take you down that path, you don't let that go to waste."
The group is currently putting the finishing touches on new album Injury Reserve in Los Angeles. Their last record was 2017's Drive It Like You Stole It. You can read their full statement below.
Injury Reserve coming soon ?? pic.twitter.com/pHoNUwU4kF— INJURY RESERVE (@InjuryReserve) September 6, 2018
Correction: an earlier version of this article misstated the business relationship between Concord Music Group and Universal Music Group. Universal is Concord's distributor; they do not own any part of the company.