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Jersey-based label looks to bring ‘Renaissance’ to hip-hop’s mainstream

When longtime executive, artist manager and rapper Cedric Perry founded Renaissance Music Records (RMR) in 2014, he had one goal in mind: to put New Jersey’s signature sound on the map.

“We want to be considered in the same manner that people associate TDE, Dreamville, and others with their hometown,” Perry said to OGM, as the budding industry Swiss Army knife asserts that “Jersey deserves its place at the table” of hip-hop’s diverse soundscape.

The Trenton-based record label is not only becoming a hub for the area’s blossoming wave, but emphasizes the overarching power music has to “connect and inspire the youth of the culture.” Whether that be through intrinsic lyricism, immaculate production or refined storytelling, their vision as a collective seems to be as clear as day — striving to transform it into one of hip-hop’s premiere labels in the process.

“The mission of Renaissance Music Records is two-fold. First, to create sounds and visuals that provoke thought, action, and defining your best self. The second is we want to establish ourselves as the premiere label from New Jersey; we want to be considered in the same manner that people associate TDE, Dreamville, and others with their hometown. Jersey deserves its place at the table in the Hip-Hop landscape as one of the early contributors to the culture’s big boom in the 90s.”

Cedric Perry, Owner of Renaissance Records

Amid shooting for the stars, Perry and company are already well on their way to achieving the recognition they’ve set out for. With artists in Johnny Quest The Rebel, Cheek The Profit, Ki Storii, and Perry himself, the group is looking to create a “Renaissance” of their own by crafting emotionally-uplifting music that bolsters Jersey’s influence in hip-hop.

Among RMR’s rostered acts, Perry also brings solo signee Dom .B into the fold, further supporting his do-it-all approach as both an artist and executive. With other New Jersey-based talents like Chris Patrick emanating the homegrown nature of local talent, RMR not only looks to catapult its sound into hip-hop’s mainstream, but strives to capture the dream of wholeheartedly putting on for their city.

Of Perry and RMR’s trove of eclectic acts, Quest, Cheek, Ki and Dom are all artistically unique in their own respect. Although both Quest and Cheek recently moved from Trenton to Los Angeles, their sound still carries the same weight as it did back home. With Renaissance co-owner Quest releasing the music video to his latest single “Blue Diamonds” (Dec. 21) — along with the label’s string of releases this Fall — Perry alluded to what went into initially signing these artists and what it takes to “sound how you look.”

“Discovery is a unique journey for us,” he elaborated. “Jersey is not a huge music hub resource-wise, so we’re always seeking ways to create proximity with other movers and shakers, and blow people away with our “IT” factor. As an independent, until you have people speaking up for you, you’ve got to nail it on the few shots you get. We’re at events, we network digitally, and are prepared to direct them to our music and profiles, which look professional because we’re professional. In regards to intangibles, it starts with uniqueness for me. What do you do that I don’t see or hear every day on my feed?”

Perry also explained that “drive” is what ultimately determines an artist’s intangibles, as the RMR label head believes that each of his compatriots have specific superstar qualities — and with them, a work ethic beyond comparison.

“A manager seeks artists who work just as hard as they do, if not harder. The selling intangible is vision. You want an artist who can see what they want for their career, spends time looking at ways to creatively express themselves, and is a student of the game.”

Cedric Perry

Keeping their cards close to their chest, and preparing for their next hands, a new Renaissance is evidently emerging right at the heart of the East Coast, as Perry and company look to take their talents to the highest of acclaim.

Johnny Quest The Rebel

Quest is a visionary; he sees the growth possible in himself and the youth and knows how to inspire through his music.”

Ki Storii

Ki Storii stands out because she has the qualities of a legendary female MC: a distinguished tone, multiple styles, New York City swag, and a personality that captures your attention.”

Cheek The Profit

Cheek is the energetic storyteller. You feel the passion and pain in each verse; more importantly, you hear the process of him bettering himself.

Dom .B

Dom .B is a vocal powerhouse. Not only can she “sang,” but she can create music for any mood, and her songwriting is phenomenal.

Dom is not directly signed to Renaissance Records, but is represented by Perry.