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After his start as a local disc jockey, Just Blaze became a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records. He would mainly produce for prominent Roc-A-Fella artist, Jay-Z. Jay-Z would retire in 2003 and Blaze wanted his own label, so he could occupy his spare time. Island Def Jam could not afford to supply another label during that period, so Just Blaze left Def Jam in early 2004. Upon his departure, Atlantic Records head, Craig Kallman, took advantage of his free agent status and agreed to bankroll him his own vanity label to be operated through Atlantic and its Warner Music parent.
Fort Knocks Entertainment was quickly established. The label would go on to sign a handful of acts that he had been watching from the underground circuit. This would include Brooklyn, New York rapper Brian Carenard, better known as Saigon, Chicago, Illinois singer, Dave Young, and Jovan Dais.
Fort Knocks quickly released Saigon's debut single, "Come Again," this was followed by Sai's debut album, Warning Shots. This album was produced by Just Blaze and went Gold. Also signed to the label was Jovan Dais, who released his debut album, Fedex. This provided Fort Knocks with another Gold release.
The label's first release was Saigon's, "What A Life," featuring Tre Williams, which was quickly followed by his album, The Moral of the Story. Around the time of these releases came Jovan Dais' "Another Man Will," its remix, and Fedex. Saigon's album would be certified Gold within a year of its initial release date, while Dias' album would manage to sell over 400,000. Saigon would quickly become a mainstream star and the most popular act on Fort Knocks. Also in 2007, the label added Naledge to its ever-growing roster.
In the early stages of 2008, the label signed numerous acts including Seven Dirty, Armel, Aimee Terrin, M.E.D., and Jha Jha. The label was able to revive some of these acts careers and provide them with attention that they lacked at their previous label. They would quickly release the debut album from Seven Dirty, The Package, which featured "Do It All Again."
For 2008, the label plans to release albums from M.E.D., Dave Young, Saigon, Seven Dirty, Aimee Terrin, Jha Jha, and Red 5. Just Blaze now has plans to begin his own career as a rapper and, in turn he will rap under the psuedonym Red 5. The first 2008 release will be Naledge's Naledege IS Power.
His debut album will be Just Getting Warm, which will feature songs from artists that Just Blaze has produced for and songs from his own artists that have joined Fort Knocks. Other releases will be Time For Re-Up from M.E.D, Dave Young's self-titled debut, and Jha Jha's Git It Girl: The Album.
- The Moral of the Story
- The Package
- 2008: Naledge - Naledge IS Power
- 2008: Just Blaze - Just Getting Warm
- 2008: Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told
- 2008: Armel - Love 101
- 2008: M.E.D. - Time For Re-Up
- 2008: Dave Young - Dave Young
- 2008: Aimee Terrin - Perfect Imperfection
- 2009: Saigon - Belly of the Beast: Tha Yardfather
- 2009: Seven Dirty - Former Inmate: Life Goes On