“It is so difficult to succeed without money in this industry, & Jake Palumbo is making it look easy.” – Wendy Day, Founder, Rap Coalition
“Self-deprecating, & perhaps overly humble…the subway train has turned out an accurate metaphor for his career, continuously moving & continually picking up people for the ride.” – Adam Bernard, RapReviews.com
“A very unique personality…(and) between every member (of SpaceLAB Recordings) they have released 36 titles in a span of 10 years & show no signs of slowing down.” – Shamika Sanders, JackThriller.com
Jake Palumbo is a producer, emcee, recording & mix engineer, DJ, dry humorist, perv, & the proprietor of SpaceLAB Recordings – an independent hip-hop imprint who has currently released 36 titles independently since 2003 & operated a busy, full-service recording & production studio located in Midtown Manhattan since 2011.
A resident of Brooklyn, NYC for the last decade, Jake Palumbo began his pursuits of music in the unlikely location of Johnson City, TN. Feeling geographically detached from the hip-hop culture he fell in love with was at first an obstacle, but it allowed him to develop an honest, eclectic production style & humorous, unnerving rhyme persona all his own – “too abstract for the hood, too hood for the hipsters”, he jokes in one song.
Inspired by everyone from No Limit & Cash Money’s lucrative out-the-trunk efforts to the many New York based indie labels selling 12” singles out of 1⁄4 page ads in fanzines, & beginning with Palumbo’s debut Future Dead Rapper and a $1000 investment, Jake founded SpaceLAB Recordings out of necessity in December 2003 & fully embraced the DIY ethic: pressing albums, online & street promotions, & self-booking shows & tours. A valiant effort was made at the time, but as fate would have it, having quit your day job to pursue an underground rap career in Johnson City was an easy way to starve to death in 2006. Being 800 miles from the nearest “networking” hub of the music industry (at a time when the Internet was booming, but social media wasn’t quite born all the way yet) Palumbo eventually moved to New York City with around $75 to his name.
What followed was a decade of obstacles we’ll save for the movie, but elbow grease, sweat equity, making contacts one at a time, unemployment checks, landing a studio internship, parlaying that into management positions for 2 major NYC studios, performing live every opportunity he could, logging absurd amounts of studio hours with his revamped SpaceLAB crew, building relationships, taking risks, fighting discouragement, rarely sleeping, & trying to build one fan a day in person or online. 8 million stories & connected dots later, Jake Palumbo is now a buzzing producer, respected lyricist & one of the most in-demand recording & mix engineers in the city of New York, as SpaceLAB Recordings continues to survive, grow its audience & maintain a busy release schedule based on a loyal core fan base, a quality over quantity approach, & solid relationships within the industry.
He has received miscellaneous accolades like being ranked in the Top 100 Hip-Hop Artists in NYC by The Deli magazine, being featured in the pilot episode of CNBC’s The Profit, accepting the Independent Album Of The Year Award at the Underground Music Awards (for his work with Shabaam Sahdeeq’s highly-acclaimed Keepers Of The Lost Art LP) and popping up on a variety of year-end Top 10 lists across the web. With a dedicated underground following, & growing online exposure, success to Palumbo comes not from fame or traditional accolades but from being his own boss, creation, producing artists to be their best, satisfying his audience, having independence & creative freedom & being fulfilled by the experience – aka, having fun doing it. “I think because of my other skills & things I’m appreciated for, I’m not banking on just rapping alone to be able to make an impact in the music business, so it lifts a weight off my shoulders to some degree; I can make the records I want to make, that sound dope to me – stay in business with an audience that cares, & do it on my own terms. ” Palumbo told DJ Myster on EmbassyNYC Radio 88.7 FM recently.
Whether he ends up an obscure legend on a milk carton, or accidental household name, rest assured Jake Palumbo has and will continue to have quite an adventure along the way. Jake It Till You Make It, indeed.