4th & B'way Records
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|4th & B'way Records|
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Founded||1984 (defunct in 1998 with remaining hip hop artists transferred to Def Jam Recordings and non-hip hop artists transferred to Island)
|Distributor(s)||The Island Def Jam Music Group (US)
Virgin EMI Records (Outside US)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New York City
Santa Monica, California
4th & B'way Records (spelled out completely as Fourth and Broadway Records in the UK) was a US-based subsidiary of Island Records that specialized in street-oriented music such as hip-hop. Established in 1984, it was the flagship label of the Island Trading Company, the independent-distribution parent company of Island's other record labels that operated in the US. However, 4th & B'way was not distributed through major-label channels—the flagship Island label was distributed by Atlantic Records at that time—until the label and distribution company were acquired by PolyGram Records in 1989, when Island Trading became a unit of PolyGram Group Distribution and was renamed Independent Label Sales (ILS). It was also one of several US-based Island labels that were named after nearby New York City streets when Island's US headquarters were located at 14 East 4th Street in Manhattan, the same building that held the legendary Greenwich Village branch of Tower Records, and also nearby at 400 Lafayette Street. When Island moved its headquarters to the Worldwide Plaza Building at 825 8th Avenue in 1995, where PolyGram's US headquarters were also located, the empty 4th Street offices became the headquarters of V2 Records.
In the UK, Fourth and Broadway was established in 1992, and it had a different roster than its American version, although it did release titles from its American cousin and vice versa. 4th & B'way was shut down in 1998, shortly after Chris Blackwell left Island Records, and before the merger of the PolyGram and MCA label families that became Universal Music Group. 4th & B'way's remaining hip hop artists would be transferred to Def Jam Recordings.
On April 12, 2013, The Island Def Jam Music Group reactivated the label as a dance-oriented imprint with Cazzette as its first artist on the reactivated imprint.
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