Anticon’s founders came together in early 1998 as a loose group of longtime friends and near-strangers bound by an abiding love of underground rap’s freewheeling poetics and the collage aesthetics of traditional hip-hop. They were Midwestern art school drop-outs, Northeastern would-be rap moguls, and young Californian nomads who pulled up their respective roots in order to sow the seeds of their own artist-driven movement. Anticon has since evolved from a cult-revered collective to a diverse and thriving independent label, but that momentum is still felt and the guiding principal the same: advancing the cause of good music, one release at a time. The label’s original architects continue to shape Anticon, not only as some of its most innovative artists, but as curators, A&R-ing a constantly growing international cadre of music-makers to whom traditional genre lines do not apply. The creative influences of the owners are as disparate as their hometowns, and the Anticon name today stands as much for radical hip-hop as it does for pioneering electronic music, left-field rock and outsider pop. It’s this well-tended mix of breadth and focus that makes Anticon not only one of the few imprints born of the ’90s indie rap boom to weather the years, but a vibrant and viable taste-making force for many more to come.