In major hip-hop news, Atlanta-based QC Media Holdings, the parent company of Quality Control Music, has been acquired by South Korean music company HYBE for a whopping $300 million, as reported by Billboard.
According to regulatory filings, HYBE America Inc., led by industry executive Scooter Braun, paid $250 million in cash and an additional $50 million in stock to QC CEO Pierre “P” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee. With the sale, that means some of hip-hop’s biggest acts like Lil Baby, City Girls, and Quavo will now share the same parent company as K-Pop supergroup BTS.
HYBE America Inc. also includes SB Projects, as well as Big Machine Label Group, which HYBE obtained through its 2021 acquisition of Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. That includes pop acts like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato, as well as country stars Thomas Rhett, Tim McGraw, and Rascal Flatts. The acquisition of Quality Control marks a major turning point in HYBE’s attempts to further diversify its overall roster.
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In a statement, HYBE CEO Jiwon Park says, “Based on hip-hop, QC has been making a strong presence in the American music scene. With our shared vision, I have high hopes in what we can operate and achieve together.”
Added P, “All of HYBE’s leaders are entrepreneurs with phenomenal combined history [of] finding talent and taking it to the next levels.”
Coach K also says, “P and I are ecstatic about this partnership with Scooter and HYBE and are confident they can get us to our global ambitions we’ve had in our scope since the beginning of the company as nothing means more than our artists impacting worldwide. Over many years, Scooter and I have cultivated real trust and a common way of looking at the world and culture.”
Now, of course, there’s bound to be some criticism from some hip-hop fans who say that Quality Control may be selling out, especially to a company that’s made its mark on a genre that has been accused of cultural appropriation. Sensing this, P took to his Instagram to provide his perspective.
“There is so much more value when people are working together and not hating and taking each other down,” he says in part. “Stop thinking people are selling OUT. Instead, see people are selling IN and see that you are building something to create more – for everybody.”
With the HYBE announcement, we have to wonder what will become of QC Music’s joint venture with Universal Music Group. As you may know, QC linked up with UMG’s Capitol Music Group and Motown Records in 2015, which includes music distribution. While a spokesperson for HYBE didn’t discuss the matter, P mentioned that both companies have a relationship with “the Universal Music Group family of companies [that] makes this seamless.”
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