Lena Waithe announces new record label with Def Jam

Hillman Grad Records is the latest multimedia effort from the showrunner and Black creative

Loading the player...

Writer, producer, and actor Lena Waithe has announced a partnership with Def Jam Records, including a new record label, Hillman Grad Records.

Read More: Lena Waithe, Little Marvin-produced horror series ‘Them’ sets premiere date

Lena Waithe has become an industry powerhouse after creating, producing, or acting in many influential projects including The Chi, Queen & Slim, Master of None, Twenties, and more. According to a new press release, Waithe is extending her reach from the TV & film scene to the music industry.

She has a new partnership with Def Jam Records and is hoping to “develop the next generation of underrepresented artists,” with her new record label, Hillman Grad Productions.

“Twenties” Premiere Event LA
Lena Waithe on March 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET)

Waithe shared in an official statement, “Music and storytelling have always gone hand in hand. And I think that’s because musicians are the storytellers we love the most. They can take complex emotions and simplify it in four minutes, the same artist can sing about the revolution and falling in love. Music is a part of us. It’s so often connected to our fondest and sometimes our darkest memories.”

Musicians tell our story. At Hillman Grad Productions we believe in identifying and amplifying new talent, and we want to continue to do that in the music industry. Jeff Harleston and his phenomenal team at Def Jam have given us their trust and their resources to help develop artists that not only have potential but staying power. We look forward to the journey ahead.”

The official Def Jam Instagram account shared a shot of the new logo for Hillman Grad Productions. The caption for the picture reads, “Welcome to the family @lenawaithe. Def Jam Recordings is entering into an exclusive joint venture partnership with Emmy Award-winning writer, creator, producer, and actor Lena Waithe to launch Hillman Grad Records.”

On her own Instagram page, featuring a pic of a younger Waithe, she wrote, “As a little girl, I’ve always dreamed of having a record label. Today we announce Hillman Grad Records, an exclusive joint venture partnership with Def Jam Recordings. So excited to have @remarkalble + @yungmaqubela at the helm to help develop the next generation of underrepresented artists. Honored to work with such brilliant talent.”

It’s been a busy week for Waithe, who also announced a brand new horror series premiering exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. As theGrio previously reported, the new series Them is set to premiere in April.

According to the press release, the series is “a limited anthology series that explores terror in America.

Read More: Lena Waithe reflects on Kamala Harris’ ‘bittersweet’ election win

The 1950s-set first season centers on a Black family who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood during the period known as The Great Migration. The family’s idyllic home becomes ground zero where malevolent forces, next-door and otherworldly, threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
theGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...