The future of record labels is constantly in question. However, we at betterPropaganda believe that the labels that matter the most are here to stay. These labels are the cream-of-the-crop - the tastemakers. They put out records because they love them and they know we’ll love them. They hold their genres dear, but have the courage to branch out. They believe in the music they release and, no matter what the sales expectations were, every album is a success because they released something they loved.

The Top 50 Labels of the Decade will be posted alphabetically beginning September 15th through September 19th with 10 labels per day.

Click on the below labels to read what their founders, artists and label managers have to say!

Merge Records - Merge Records was started in the summer of 1989, by Laura Ballance & Mac McCaughan, the same summer they formed the band Superchunk in Chapel Hill, NC.

Modular - "Modular rules because our bands rule. I would like to think our strength lies in our diversity and within that our ability to turn people onto something new they might not otherwise bother with." - Glenn Goetze, head of A&R

Mush Records - "The thing I like most about Mush is the support they have shown me over the years, not just in my musical endeavors, but in the many strange projects I have undertook over the years." - Marc Bianchi from Her Space Holiday

Ninja Tune - Ninja Tune was founded in the early '90s by Coldcut and, to this day, has continued to put out some of the most creative music we've ever heard.

Om Records - "In celebration of Better Propaganda’s first 5 years, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 albums on Om since we began. I hope this list serves as a jump off point for further musical exploration." - Gunnar Hissam, VP of Marketing

Plug Research - With albums such as Milosh's Meme, Dntel's Life is Full of Possibilities, and Daedelus' Invention in their catalog, Plug Research is undoubtedly one of the most respected underground labels since labels could ever be deemed "underground."

Quannum Projects - "Our next release, which comes out October 7th, is by the Brazilian phenom, Curumin. To help celebrate betterPropaganda's 5th Anniversary, we've asked Curumin to sum up each member of the Quannum crew in a single word."

Rhymesayers - "Rhymesayers is built first and foremost on people. Everyone associated with Rhymesayers are quality human beings who care deeply about each other and the work we do." - Brother Ali

Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans - "No other record label I've been involved with has had anywhere near the dedication to the business than the Jag/SC/Dead Oceans family." - BJ Warshaw of Parts & Labor

Stones Throw - For a while, Stones Throw seemed to be an outlet for Peanut Butter Wolf's beats and Madlib's alter egos, but this decade, Stones Throw has emerged as the premier hip-hop label.

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