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Headquarters: Chicago, IL
Founded by: Seven
- Ko-Wreck Technique
- Sluta Leta
- Push Button Objects
- Via Tania
- Souls of Mischief
- Ghislain Poirer
- The Timeout Drawer
- Vast Aire
- Various Artists - Urban Renewal Program
- Diverse - Certified
- Push Button Objects - Ghetto Blaster
- McNeal & Niles - Thrust
Chocolate Industries began as spin-off of Miami imprint Schematic in 1998 by a man simply known as Seven. Later that same year, Seven packed up the tiny label and moved to Chicago, a less flashy, but much better catalyst for what was to come for Chocolate Industries. Their website has been "coming soon" for about a year and a half now (which is when I first started checking), so it is difficult to keep taps on the exact happenings these days. What I can tell you is that they are one of the most underrated indie labels on the market today. They never receive the same recognition as similar labels like Stones Throw or Def Jux, and this could quite possibly be because they have not had a reliable website/source of information for quite some time now. But their roster really speaks for itself. The Chicago label released mostly experimental instrumental hip-hop and electronica in the beginning, but snowballed into a slew of genres and really quite different sounds. While having considerable success with the ever-productive While, Chocolate Industries really solidified their place in the indie-hip-hop world with fantastic releases by Chicago emcee Diverse (who is probably the most underrated emcee on the face of the planet) and instrumental hip-hop pioneers Push Button Objects. They have also been responsible for putting together incredible compilations like Rapid Transit and Urban Renewal Program; which included along with the artists on their roster, songs and collaborations from Mos Def, DJ Food, El-P, Aesop Rock, Tortoise, Prefuse 73 and Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto and Gorillaz. More recently, Chocolate Industries have diversified their line-up with a re-release of the wonderful funk album Thrust by Push Button Objects along with signing synth-rock outfit, The Timeout Drawer. As it seems, the mysterious but productive label is continuing to put out inventive music from the depths of Chicago, maybe one day they'll get their website under order and we all can be enlightened that much more.