Though it’s content has been centered towards adults and those well over the legal age of eighteen, its hard to deny the impact Adult Swim has had on pop culture across a wide variety of demographics. Since it’s inception in 2001, the joint venture between Williams Street Productions and Cartoon Network has lead the way for producing some of the most iconic and cult-worthy content on television.
If it wasn’t watching Toonami after school, we all can remember times staying up late to catch glimpses of shows we had no damn business watching, and running back to our friends the next day to regurgitate scenes from culture shifting programs like Home Movies, Family Guy and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
The Adult Swim team had already been doing A&R work in the realm of visual media before any of us really knew what that meant, bringing shows to fruition that other popular networks weren’t so keen on. As the years went by, the network’s brand grew exponentially along the same path until 2005 when Adult Swim’s VP Jason Demarco linked a joint venture with Warner Bros Records to work on MF Doom and Danger Mouse’s “Danger Doom” album; marking the birth of Williams Street Records.
Over time, Williams Street Records backed releases from artists spanning a vast number of genres, becoming one of the underground’s leading contributors to helping musicians tap into untouched markets. Their recent weekly ‘Singles’ program born in 2010 has upped the ante on bringing forward new music the current generation of listeners ten-fold by scheduling free, exclusive releases from artists such as Rae Sremmurd, Flying Lotus, Death Grips, Freddie Gibbs, Run The Jewels and most recently Father. In addition to the artist’s initial release via AS and Williams Street, the carefully curated music is brought to new listeners during the network’s iconic TV bumps, making for one of the greatest cross-platform marketing schemes in entertainment history.
Plans and platforms like this come once in a lifetime, and with a never ending system that not only feeds it’s fans but also turns them into contributors, Adult Swim and Williams Street Records are quickly becoming two of the biggest names media. Check out a few of their iconic releases below.