Label Spotlight: Cinematic Music Group

Here at HIP Video Promo, we are more than grateful to work with an abundance of amazing artists that push the envelope every day with their mesmerizing music. Being able to assist these artists regularly reminds the entire team why we all became passionate music fans in the first place. But we wouldn’t even have the pleasure of working with so many of these inspiring clients if it weren’t for the fantastic record labels and corporations that represent them.

One particular label that we want to shine a light on is Cinematic Music Group! CMG has sent our way some of the most excellent clients that we have ever worked within the nearly 20 years that we have existed as a company, so we wanted to take the time and effort to step back and acknowledge how Cinematic became the stellar organization that they are today.

CMG was first started by Jonny Shipes back in 2007. Shipes, a New York native and self-proclaimed rap meg-fan, anticipated early on that starting his own indie label wasn’t going to be an easy task. He knew that when it came to being a smaller label, he had to be able to keep his head above the water and stand up to the industry giants that stood in the way. However, when early signee Sean Kingston became a radio staple with this double-platinum single “Beautiful Girls,” Shipes found his little company becoming a bigger threat to major labels than he anticipated.

After embracing the monumental rise of Kingston’s music career, Shipes worked on developing a firm base of artists to keep CMG at the stellar position it was in. In 2010, he signed Southern rapper Big K.R.I.T. and shocked the rap game when K.R.I.T.’s debut full-length album made it to #1 on the Billboard rap charts a year later. Along with signing K.R.I.T., Shipes was quick to add East Coast rapper Joey Bada$$ to the CMG label after viewing the then 16-year-old rapper’s viral freestyle on WorldStarHipHop.com. Shipes soon took on the position of manager and coach when it came to growing young Joey’s career and assisting the development of Bada$ $’s rap collective, Pro Era. After the release of a few mixtapes and some formative years with Coach Jonny, Bada$$ debuted “B4.DA.$$” at the top of the rap charts and sold over 50,000 units in the first week of sales.

Aside from being a strong force in the world of hip hop, CMG has also experimented with indie rock in their signing of New York groups Caveman and Public Access TV. Jonny Shipes views himself as a positive force for anyone looking to make it in the music business. He told Forbes Magazine that “there are so many artists I’ve worked with that aren’t signed to me just to help them.” To Shipes, CMG isn’t about financial gain or a star-studded lifestyle. It’s about making great music for people to listen to and it’s clear to say that Jonny Shipes and CMG know what great music is.

There’s no doubt that CMG has an impeccable track record when it comes to signing hit artists. The HIP Video Promo team is more than appreciative of the acts that we have gotten to work with in the past years. Some of these artists include T-Pain, Cat Clyde, and Jeremie Albino.


Written by HIP intern Bryan Olivera.