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One of the biggest weed-selling crews in New York was also behind a record label that distributed Wyclef Jean and a slew of reggae stars. The John Shop Crew was a violent, murderous gang moving a literal ton of marijuana per week from California; John Shop Records was the label they started with the profits. I see the subtle connection! Eight members of the crew were found guilty on gun and drug charges yesterday and could face up to life in prison [NYDN]. According to a 2002 article, John Shop was one of the three top weed crews in the city, and was locked in an ongoing drug war responsible for at least a dozen murders. Perhaps a reason to give your record label a different name. The label's motto was "Being real to the music, never hustle the music." No time to hustle the music when you're hustling all that REEFER, ha. John Shop's personal history [MySpace] of how they "made the music and they made the party" is below—inserting "and we passed around unlimited weed and cash" helps it all make sense.

The story of John Shop Records - it started in a basement, with a few guys playing around on a keyboard and a drum machine. Till one day another producer by the name of Ricky came in and did a full sweep of setting up the shop. By this time a lot of hype or buzz was going around the Bronx of this music base. Attracting some of Reggae's best -Tony Kelly and John Forte to name a few recorded and produced music with them too. It was a vibe everybody felt once you were around it. It drew you in like a magnet it was just hot! This place was set up to hopefully record any artist best hit. It was in 2002 two brothers made it official. Working with talents such as Yami Bolo, Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Future Troubles, Major Damage, Zumjay and the list goes on and the rest is history. The story I am telling is the short one... and for those who know know. John Shop made the music and they made the party. Please stay tune some of your favourite tunes will soon be available on this page for purchase.