They're loved by Ali G and LL Cool J - and now they're branching out...

FUBU, the sportswear giant favoured by hip hop stars such as LL COOL J and immortalised in the UK by spoof television comedian ALI G, are set to launch a record label called FUBU RECORDS.

They have announced a deal affilliating them in the venture with Universal Records. The new label will share marketing, distribution and promotion duties.

The first FUBU Records offering will be a hip hop and R&B compilation featuring original tracks from both new and established artists. No artists have been named yet and no information has been released about the names of any new signings. The album will go on sale sometime in 2001.

In a statement from Universal Records, company president Monte Lipman said "This is a very significant deal and a wonderful opportunity for both our companies. The arrangement will allow Universal to tap into a number of non-traditional outlets, and provide us with a variety of cross-marketing opportunities. Our expertise can help FUBU firmly establish itself as a player in the music industry."

Another arm of the FUBU empire, FUBU The Collection, was established in 2000 and handles the corporation's film, television and music ventures.

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