The Diamond in the Rough: True Soundz Ent.
An exclusive on the True Soundz Entertainment record label and its Founding Father.
BEHIND THE BIZENTREPRENEURSHIP
In 2017, Marquis Terrell started making music with a former friend, who shall remain anonymous, in their small town of Roxboro, North Carolina. Terrell went through a few names before settling on “Tecknikian”. Before that, he went by “Sage the Producer”, “Pathogen”, and even tried “Beats by Teck” for a short time. After finally settling on Tecknikian, Terrell would make beats for his friend who would do his own freestyles over them. But, time went by and not a single unit was sold. The rapper had to move on to other things in his life, so Terrell was left to fill in the video. So he did.
Releasing his debut EP titled “Teck the Rapper: The EP”, Terrell found a new love in making music. He had always been a writer and was writing lyrics back in middle school. He would even write short verses for his friends to use during rap battles. (They always won). After spending much time promoting his project and building relationships with some other underground artists, life struck hard at Terrell and he had to go on hiatus. During his three-year absence from the music scene, he would re-develop his label, which was informally founded in May of 2017. He changed his name to “Khari X” and in June of 2023 finally got the LLC for True Soundz Entertainment, making it officially his first true business.
True Soundz has gone through several different phases. Its current phase is signing artists and developing their careers. The foundation was laid during Terrell’s hiatus. He would spend days and weeks revising his business plan and label structure so that it fit what he believed a record label should truly be; a platform designed to help artists, not starve them of their creativity and steal their money through ironclad contracts. Terrell never was a fan of big labels since they have a history of stealing from artists and destroying their legacies with nefarious business practices. Terrell vowed to make True Soundz far different from them by offering artists 50% of their royalties but maintaining ownership of their masters and publishing. Terrell would go on to create his own publishing company as well, “True Soundz Publishing”.
In December of 2023, Terrell signed his first artist. A Brooklyn rapper named Young Penny. Shortly after, he would sign a Jersey native, Icekid, whom Terrell would end up having a short beef with after dropping Icekid from the label not even a month after he was signed. Things would start out decent but issues came their way as they naturally do. Penny was unfocused and having trouble with the law. One day, he went AWOl and was quietly dropped. He hasn’t been heard from and his whereabouts are unknown. The last time Terrell had heard from Penny, he was talking about the Feds being on his case about some former crimes he may or may not have committed. It is unknown whether he was actually on the run or if he was ever caught.
Icekid, on the other hand, was just too difficult to work with. By this time, Terrell had made contact with a mutual acquaintance of Icekid, Darryl Harvin, aka King Grovey. Terrell wanted to sign Harvin after listening to his music on YouTube (link Grovey’s YouTube). After discussing the label and sending Harvin the business plan, however, Harvin suggested it would be best if he became the label’s president rather than just an artist, as he had a much larger skill set than just being a musician. It was agreed upon and the two have been in business ever since.
Back to Icekid, his fault was not listening to clear instructions and behaving as if he were in charge of everything. While the label does allow the artists to have control over their own careers, when certain things need to change, they need to be changed without question. Arguments over cover art and the overall quality of his music are what led Icekid to suggest he should just leave the label, which was fine with Terrell. Icekid would go on to diss Terrell on social media. This sparked a beef that ultimately would be short-lived, as Icekid wasn’t up for the challenge.
Terrell, going by Khari X, would release a diss track titled “Vanilla Ice Cream”. The song teases Icekid with an intro of the traditional “Ice Cream Truck Music” and fires bars at him attacking his character, exposing why he got dropped, and even a sharp line exposing Icekid for physically abusing his own mother. I guess some people should be careful what they say to others, huh?
Icekid was furious over this diss and made several calls to Terrell, threatening his life and continuing to talk crazy, but no official response was ever made, as of writing this article. They haven't exchanged any words in months since.
Nowadays, True Soudnz only has Terrell as its only signed artist and Terrell has been hard at work on recording his debut mixtape, which will launch a series of them before his debut album, set for release in 2024. The mixtape is titled “Natural Born Rhymer” and will be the start of a new era for True Soundz Entertainment, LLC.
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