XXLMag.com has learned that Cinematic Music Group, home to rappers Smoke DZA and Big K.R.I.T., has landed a label deal with Universal Republic.

Cinematic boss Jonny “Shipes” Shapiro told XXLMag.com that the label approached him with a business proposal he couldn’t pass up. “Basically I was made an offer I couldn't refuse by [Universal Republic co-president] Avery Lipman and Republic,” Shipes said by e-mail. “I sat down with him he and he was very cool, he gets my vision and I think it’s the best home for my brand.”

Shipes hasn’t made a formal announcement about future signings or the joint venture’s first release, though he said plans are in the works to expand the talent roster. “I'm gonna be announcing acts in the coming weeks, but I have been developing them for a while on the low,” he said. “I got a game plan in place and I feel confident in myself and my team, GFCnewyork, and the artists I'm about to sign that I know it will work. I love all the acts I'm about to sign and when I'm super passionate about shit I refuse to lose.”

Cinematic has both indie and major label experience, as the group’s history includes a three-year stint on Epic Records. —Lauren Carter with additional reporting by Jesse Gissen