The locus of the Low End Theory scene, Alpha Pup Records is the closest Angeleno analogue to the Fabric label that sprang from the north London nightclub of the same name. But unlike their British counterparts, label owners Daddy Kev and his wife, Danyell Jariel, started their increasingly essential imprint in April 2005, a full year-and-a-half before the Low End Theory owned every Wednesday night at the Airliner in Lincoln Heights. Rising from the ashes of the Celestial Recordings label that the South Bay–raised Kev ran with fellow producer Hive, Alpha Pup proved it had bite early on, offering fare from underground hip-hop staples Busdriver, Awol One, Omid, Daedelus, and Kev himself. But the last two years have seen it embark on an epic run, pairing with Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint to release seminal abstract beat offerings from Low End luminaries Ras G, Samiyam, the Gaslamp Killer, and Nosaj Thing — whose Drift is thus far the Weekly's best local album of the year. Obtaining distribution rights to catalog material from Funkadelic and the Ohio Players, the Mount Washington–based label has adapted its strategy to suit the rapidly shifting winds of the music business. In the process, it has managed to father the next generation of beat junkies — the pups maturing into Alpha Dogs.

—Jeff Weiss

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