By Tristin Marshall
2017 was a major year for Motown. From debut albums, to numerous awards nomination, and even the joy of welcoming new babies, Motown has seen so many great moments this year and it’s hard for us not to celebrate! Here are just a few of the highlights:
Debut After Debut After Debut
Kevin Ross, Lil Yachty, and Chaz French all released their debut albums this year. Ross released ‘The Awakening’ in March and hit #1 on the Urban AC charts with the single “Long Song Away.” He was also nominated for the 2017 Soul Train Awards for “Best New Artist” and the 49th NAACP Image Awards for ‘Outstanding New Artist,” which will premiere on January 15.
The King of the Youth released his debut album ‘Teenage Emotions’ in the spring, featuring label mates Migos on the RIAA certified gold single “Peek A Boo,” and “Better” featuring UK singer, rapper, and songwriter Stefflon Don. Yachty had quite a year; he was named a 2017 creative designer for Nautica and released a holiday collection with the brand, as well as partnering with Carly Rae Jepsen for the “It Takes Two” Target campaign and posed for the exclusive UGG and Jeremy Scott collaboration.
DMV native Chaz French releases his debut album ‘True Colors’ this summer with the lead single “Way Out.” He released the EP ‘Kill, Vol 1. (A DMV Playlist),’ which highlights the talents of other DMV artists.French also went on tour with J.I.D and EarthGang this year, and will join the second leg of the tour in February.
QC The Label
Hailing from Atlanta, Quality Control Music joined Motown in 2015 and has since brought heavyweights Migos, Lil Yachty, and Stefflon Don. Quality Control Music dropped ‘Control The Streets Vol 1’ this year, a 30-track compilation including features from their roster and other hip-hop heavyweights.
Motown Goes (Back) Across the Pond
Motown has gone across the pond with Quality Control Music signing Stefflon Don. The British singer, songwriter, and rapper whose proud Jamaican heritage and reggae vibes shine in every song, released two singles this year since joining the label–“Hurtin’ Me” featuring French Montana and “Ding-A-Ling” featuring Skepta. Watch the hilarious clip from her interview with Genius below.
Migos Took Motown “Dat Way”
Migos has changed the culture (literally) with the debut of their first album ‘Culture’ at the top of the year. The rap trio, hailing from Atlanta, signed with Motown through Quality Control Music shortly after releasing their debut album and has put two major singles this year–“MotorSport” featuring Nicki Minaj and Cardi B and “Stir Fry” produced by Pharrell Williams.
Kevin Hart was nominated for “Best Comedy Album: What Now?” for the 2018 GRAMMY Awards. Hart, who goes by his rap alter ego “Chocolate Droppa” released the single “Push It On Me” featuring Trey Songz in 2016 on Motown Records. Listen to ‘What Now? The Comedy Album’ here.
BJ the Chicago Kid was nominated for three GRAMMYs for the 2017 awards show in the categories: “Best R&B Performance: Turnin’ Me Up,” “Best Traditional R&B Performance: Woman’s World,” and “Best R&B Album: In My Mind.” BJ The Chicago Kid released his first major label debut on Motown with his studio album ‘In My Mind’ in 2016.