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How ‘Adult Swim’ Became A Hip-Hop Staple


Since its birth in 2001 on Cartoon Network, Adult Swim has grown from just airing Space Ghost Coast To Coast to being basic cable’s No. 1 network with adults 18-49. The network is one of the reasons many people stay up late and come in tired for work. Who brought Family Guy and Futurama back to life? Adult Swim. Who introduced the world to a talking milkshake, hamburger meat, fries and Carl Brutananadilewski? Adult Swim. With its unique programing and presentation, Adult Swim‘s popularity has catapulted with fans, not just because of their shows but also their taste in music, most notably hip-hop.

From their signature-style text-bump formats that play smooth instrumentals from J. Dilla and Madlib in the background to their programming like Boondocks and Odd Future’s Loiter Squad and their Adult Swim Upfront concerts and hip-hop mixtapes, it’s clear that behind the scenes, Adult Swim houses some pretty big hip-hop fans. That becomes evident when you check out Williams Street Records, a boutique independent label which was founded by Jason DeMarco, vice president and creative director, on-air for Adult Swim. So XXL hopped on the phone with DeMarco to discusses the birth of Adult Swim, how music is selected for the network, Williams Street Records and the Adult Swims Singles Program. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)

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