Mo' Wax was a UK-based record label owned by James Lavelle, who founded it in 1992 with Tim Goldsworthy. Steve Finan became co-owner shortly after. The label came to recognition for being at the forefront of trip hop, turntablism and alternative hip hop during the mid-1990s. The label is also responsible for bringing attention to the graffiti artist Futura 2000 by using his artwork on many of its releases in the early to mid-1990s. Lavelle ended up signing partial ownership of Mo' Wax over to A&M Records (now part of the Universal Music Group) in 1996. Currently, some of the Mo' Wax catalogue is part of the Beggars Group, but there are rumors that the label itself has folded and is no longer putting out new releases.
The name 'Mo' Wax' is a shortened form of 'Mo' Wax Please', which was the title of a column James Lavelle wrote in the magazine Straight No Chaser and the club night he ran (Saturdays at the Fridge in Brixton and with Patrick Forge at the Gardening Club). This in turn was influenced by the Freddie Roach LP, Mo' Greens Please on Blue Note records.
The original Mo' Wax logo as used on the early releases was designed by UK graphic designer Ian Swift "Swifty", but the label grew their reputation by featuring artwork contributions from Futura, Robert Del Naja (from Massive Attack), She One and Req 1. Ben Drury was the main designer responsible for the art direction and design of the label.
In 2005, Lavelle started a clothing line called Surrender, and launched Mo' Wax Arts.
Mo' Wax Arts is a company managed by Henry Lavelle (James' brother), who translated Futura's talent into merchandise, toys and fashion in conjunction with the Surrender label. Henry Lavelle presented Futura's works under Mo' Wax Arts in an international design conference.
In March 2013 it was announced (on Facebook and Twitter) that there will be an official art exhibition for the label's 21st birthday (roughly scheduled for some time in 2014, making it a year late). This will be funded by a Kickstarter campaign. In 2015 James Lavelle brought back the Mo'Wax label to Release Elliott Power's Murmur single as a limited edition hand stamped 12" vinyl. On the 26th February 2016 Marathon Artists.