VP Records is an independent reggae record label, located in Queens, New York. It is best known for producing Caribbean singers.
The VP Records label was founded in 1979 by the late Vincent "Randy" Chin and his wife Patricia Chin; Chinese Jamaicans who owned the Randy's Records store in Kingston, Jamaica (as seen in the 1978 film Rockers), as well as the Studio 17 recording studios. In the mid-1970s, the Chins moved to New York City, setting up a record store in Brooklyn called VP Records in 1975, from which they sold and distributed records. In 1979, they relocated the store to Jamaica, Queens. In 1993, the record label was formed after the success of the retail store. The name of the label is a product of the first letters in the founders' names, hence the title "VP".
The label established itself as one of the first and largest independent record labels for reggae and dancehall, and with the popularity of the riddim sound of the early 2000s, the label achieved worldwide success for artists such as Sean Paul through the label's deals with Warner Music's Atlantic Records and Virgin Music Canada. The label is often also accredited with having increased the popularity of the now globally recognized Elephant Man, also known as the 'Energy God' or 'Ele', through a deal with Bad Boy Records. VP Records has acquired the slogan "Miles Ahead in Reggae Music" to signify that they could be considered to be the future of music that derives from the Caribbean. Besides reggae, VP is also known for dancehall and soca music. VP also releases a series of Riddim Driven albums, which feature various artists.
VP Records has been awarded Billboard's "Best Independent Label" for two consecutive years and has received the award for "Best Reggae Imprint Label" for three consecutive years. VP was also nominated for Best Independent Reggae Label at the 2003 Billboard Hip-Hop and R&B awards, and had been mentioned and featured in publications such as Vibe magazine, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Billboard, and Time magazine.
Vincent Chin died in 2003. The label is now run by the Chins' sons Randy and Christopher, while Patricia Chin continues to assist with the maintenance of her late husband's company as well. In 2007, VP Records began re-issuing classic albums from the 1970s and 1980s on the 17 North Parade label, the address of Randy's Studio, where it all began. The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems is a series of CD reggae compilations that began in 2005 distributed under Greensleeves Records. Greensleevs specializes in dancehall and reggae music. The name of the records describe the collection as the most popular reggae songs in the market.
VP Associated Label Group (VPAL) is a subsidiary of VP Records that allows independent artists to access VP Records' distribution channel, allowing them broader visibility.© Wikipedia