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Rap Entrepreneur Un Joins Epic in Multimillion-Dollar Record Deal

June 27, 1997|CHUCK PHILIPS

Sony's Epic record division cut a deal Thursday for a multimillion-dollar joint venture with Brooklyn rap entrepreneur Lance Rivera, who goes by the name Un.

Un, who brought lascivious rap queen Lil' Kim and gangsta rap crew Junior M.A.F.I.A. to Time Warner's Atlantic Group, signed a five-year deal with Epic after turning down offers from Mercury, Elektra, Universal and Atlantic.

Debut albums by Lil' Kim and Junior M.A.F.I.A., signed to the 31-year-old businessman's Undeas Entertainment, generated an estimated $15 million in revenue for Time Warner. Although violent and sexually explicit lyrics by Lil' Kim and Junior M.A.F.I.A. caused an uproar two months ago at Time Warner's annual stockholders meeting, Un is expected to produce records by the controversial rappers for Time Warner.

Un's new label, called Untertainment Records, is expected to release its debut album by female rapper Charlie Baltimore within three months. Epic has committed substantial funding for overhead, artist signings, recording and video budgets at Untertainment, where Un will retain total creative control over all projects.

Un's agreement with Epic was negotiated by New York attorney Kenny Meiselas, who has also struck powerhouse deals for East Coast rap kingpin Sean "Puffy" Combs and production aces TrackMasters.

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