Published Feb 19, 2008TVT Records has reportedly fired the majority of its staff and is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within the week. According to AllHipHop.com, the "independent label (an affiliate of Universal) originally started back in 1985 by president Steve Gottlieb, sent most of its employees packing yesterday (February 18), making Monday mornings just a little bit tougher for a select group.
In its 23-year career, TVT found success through a variety of outlets, including the Televisions Greatest Hits collection, virtually housing every major crunk artist (Lil Jon, Pitbull, Ying Yang Twins) and of course, launching the career of Nine Inch Nails, who released the seminal Pretty Hate Machine with the label in 1989.
Just a few weeks back, Pitbull expressed his distaste for the label and president Gottlieb, telling fans to download his new album, The Boatlift, instead of giving the money to his label. "My problem is with the president, and he knows that," said the rapper. "When you don't clear me for a DJ Khaled album, when you don't clear me for a Janet Jackson record, hardly cleared me so I had to fight tooth and nail to get on the Gloria Estefan record... I bust my ass for [TVT]. I'm out here working like a slave, doing things that other artists don't even know how to do. A label's there to further and promote your career, but it feels like they just keep holding me back."
Nothing has been said as of yet regarding the labels release schedule and whether the bankruptcy will prevent TVT from putting out the forthcoming Lil Jon album, Crunk Rock.
The label's current roster - who should all likely be searching for new homes right about now - includes Ambulance LTD, the Cinematics, Dude N' Nem, Lumidee, Towers of London and the Polyphonic Spree.