In late 1979, a nineteen year old former Eastern Michigan University student, who's hopes for playing college basketball was done in by worn out knees and subsequent bad grades, decided to pursue his other passion...music!
He reached out to a college friend named Ruben Pierce, who was a drummer. Ruben gathered up his band members of the group "Frosted". They went in to a studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and created what is now a classic old school rap record entitled "Big Apple Rappin'".
Duane Hughes, then known as "Spyder", now professionally known in the rap world as "Spyder D", (with the aid of college friend Tito Lewis), then became the first rapper to establish and successfully launch his own label, distributed by a company called Larchwood Music Co., and released the recording in 1980.
About Newtroit's Founder
Duane Hughes, aka Spyder D has went on to have a very distinguished career as an artist, producer, engineer, artist manager, label executive and basketball franchise owner. He devised the name for his first label, Newtroit, after a brief stint on Delmar International Records, by combining New York, where he grew up, and Detroit, where he went to college. (Actually Ypsilanti, Mich., just outside of Detroit).
The "New" Newtroit
The new Newtroit Records is comprised of artists and producers from all over the United States. The first release under this new deal will be an incredible compilation of independent artists and producers on a full length CD entitled "Heat Seekers". After an introduction to TC Thompkins of Thompkins Media Group by Billy Motley (Wilson), who played the bass line on the original recording for Newtroit, a distribution deal was signed whereby Newtroit will be distributed by Thompkins Media Group, who utilize the MRI/Sony Red distribution network. Doris Hughes (Garrett), Spyder D's Mom, who invested the first $1200 to start the label in 1980, recently passed away, and Spyder is dedicating the new label and distribution deal to her memory. "My Mom sacrificed a lot in her life so I could live out my dream of being a musician. She would be very proud for this new beginning with Thompkins Media Group", says Spyder D.
Northend Records is a division of Newtroit Records, and is about to finally "bust out". It has it's own artist roster, including "Ruff", the grandson of Motown great David Ruffin. The label has several rap artists with promising careers, including Doughnut, aka Bobby Seales, who has been bubbling underground for the past few years.