Hipgnosis buys music catalog from Jay-Z, Kanye West producer Dion ‘No I.D’ Wilson

UK-based Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited – which on Tuesday (August 11) saw its market cap surge above £1 billion for the first time – has just acquired the music royalty catalog of American hip-hop and R&B music producer, No I.D. aka Ernest ‘Dion’ Wilson.

Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of the artist’s worldwide copyrights and publishing royalties, including writer’s share of income, in the catalog which comprises 273 songs.

No I.D. has achieved success with artists including Kanye West, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Usher, Rihanna, Common, Drake and Ed Sheeran.

Considered the Godfather of Chicago hip hop, No I.D. rose to fame in the early 1990s with the production of Common’s hip hop classic album, Resurrection,  including the ode to hip-hop I Used to Love H.E.R. and US Top 25 The Dreamer/The Believer.

His songs and productions have collectively been streamed more than 7 billion times and his catalog includes some of the most successful songs of hip hop culture, including: 2x platinum certified Run This Town by Jay-Z featuring Kayne West and Rihanna (300 million streams); 4x platinum certified Holy Grail by Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake (400 million streams); Jay-Z’s gold certified The Story of O.J. (30 million streams); Drake’s 3x platinum certified Find Your Love (150 million streams); Kanye West’s platinum certified Black Skinhead (600 million streams), Bound 2 (300 million streams), Dark Fantasy (200 million streams), the gold certified Gorgeous (200 million streams), So Appalled (100 million streams) and 6x platinum certified Heartless (500 million streams); and 2x platinum certified Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran (500 million streams).

In 2007, No I.D. began his collaboration with Jay-Z, co-writing / producing songs off his US No.1 and platinum certified album American Gangster.

Two years later, he co-wrote and produced six songs on Jay-Z’s No.1 album, The Blueprint 3, including 2x platinum certified UK No.1 Run This Town, featuring Kanye West and Rihanna, which won Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2010 Grammy Awards as well as an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition/Direction/Lyrics, and has been streamed over 122 million times on Spotify, and D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune) which won the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.

In 2008, No I.D. began his work with Kanye West, starting with Heartless from 808s & Heartbreak.

The collaboration continued with No I.D. co-writing and producing four tracks on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which was named the best album of 2010 in many publications’ year-end lists, and featured the singles Dark Fantasy, So Appalled and Gorgeous.

“He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”

Merck Mercuriadis

No I.D. also worked on West’s sixth studio album, Yeezus, released in 2013, having contributed the tracks Black Skinhead and Bound 2.. It debuted at No.1 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified platinum after selling 327,000 copies in the first week of release, while also topping the charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Russia and the UK.

In 2010, No I.D. produced two songs from Drake’s debut album, Thank Me Later, which topped the US Billboard Hot 200 albums chart and has been certified platinum in the US with over 8 million copies sold. Notably, No I.D. produced the 3x US platinum certified hit single Find Your Love, which has been streamed over 80m streams on Spotify alone.

No I.D. produced Big Sean’s 2011 US platinum certified debut studio album, Finally Famous, including the platinum certified hit single, My Last. Following this, he served as the primary producer of Big Sean’s second album Hall of Fame, which debuted at No.3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and sold 72,000 copies in the first week alone.

He also worked on Nas’ critically acclaimed album, Life is Good, which was released the following year, producing the hit single Daughters, which was nominated at the Grammy Awards for “Best Rap Performance” and “Best Rap Song”. The album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart as well as reaching the Top 10 in the UK and Canada.

“Merck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”

No I.D.

A long-time collaborator with Common, No I.D. returned to the studio to work with the artist on his tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling.

The album, produced entirely by No I.D., was released in 2014 by No I.D.’s label, ARTium Records. The album debuted at Number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 24,000 copies in its opening week giving Common his third Top 10 on the chart and his highest-charting album since Finding Forever debuted at No.1 in 2007.

Jay-Z’s twelfth studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, was released in 2013 and included three successful singles, Holy Grail, Tom Ford and Part II (On the Run), while multiple other songs on the album also achieved chart success.

Holy Grail was the most successful single on the album reaching No.4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and winning “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

No I.D. co-produced the album which featured guest appearances by Justin Timberlake, Nas, Rick Ross, Frank Ocean and Beyoncé.

He went on to co-write and produce all 10 tracks on Jay-Z’s 13th studio album 4:44. The Grammy nominated album, debuting at No.1 in the US, was certified platinum in the US after only five days.The album’s singles, 4:44 and The Story of O.J. were both nominated for multiple Grammy Awards.

Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and The Family (Music) Limited, said:  “The words NO I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album.

“From Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus to Jay-Z’s astonishing run from American Gangster through The Blueprint 3, Magna Carta Holy Grail and 4:44, Dion has been in the middle of everything that is great about Hip Hop for more than two decades.

“He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”

No I.D. added: “Not many have the best intentions for the artist and the creators.

“Merck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”

Hipgnosis’ share price has recently been boosted by the news that it has acquired catalogs and/or royalty streams from the likes of Rodney ‘Darkchild’ JerkinsBarry Manilow and Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.

Last month, the company also acquired a range of songs and recorded music interests from Lady Gaga collaborator RedOne.Music Business Worldwide

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