In what marks the latest development in the label’s story, Universal Republic has welcomed two new VPs to their urban A&R department, Naim Ali Mcnair and Tab Nkhereanye.
Now responsible for scouting and developing the group’s urban acts, both men will report to its Senior VP Wendy Goldstein, responsible for signing The Roots.
Before joining Republic, Nkhereanye served as the Senior VP of creative at Sony ATV. There, he signed Frank Ocean and penned hits for Britney Spears and Madonna (2004’s Me Against The Music) and Mary J. Blige ( Take Me As I Am).
Mcnair’s resume reads just as impressively. Billboard Biz explains:
McNair has held A&R posts at MCA Records and Warner Bros., working with such acts as the Roots, Talib Kweli and Mike Jones. He most recently consulted for Top Dawg Entertainment and Epic Records.
On the deal, Goldstein said in an official statement:
Tab and Naim are going to help usher in the next generation of hip hop artists at Republic. They’re extremely dynamic, devout, and diligent, and it’s an honor to be working with the both of them.
With the likes of Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake and Jessie J under their roof, we hope to see Universal Republic launch urban acts with real ‘crossover capabilities’.
For, as they’ve proved with the success of Young Money, the urban market- contrary to popular belief- is anything but dead, and can be all kinds of lucrative for any act with the right sound, know how and finances to dominate it.