Prominent Hip-Hop label Def Jam Recording was founded back in 1984 by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. The same year, the powerhouse label released their first two singles, which were LL Cool J’s “I Need a Beat” and the Beastie Boys’ “Rock Hard.” The singles sold so well that Def Jam signed a distribution deal with CBS Records (which would later become Sony Music Entertainment). Since launching 27 years ago, the label has its share of executives such as Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, Kevin Liles, L.A. Reid, Jay-Z, and Shakir Stewart. Now music producer and former record executive Irv Gotti hinted that he will like to take over the label. Gotti sat down with ‘RapFix Live’ earlier in the week to speak on what he thinks would be the appropriate next step for the label. Below are some excerpts:
On Def Jam personifying Hip-Hop culture.
“I wanted to speak on this because I love the hip-hop culture with a deep, deep passion. Def Jam is the light of that culture; Def Jam personifies the hip-hop culture. There is no other hip-hop label like Def Jam.”
If Def Jam don’t want to hire him.
“If you don’t want to hire me — the best man for the job, the man who will die for it — cool, I understand. You think I’m Suge Knight, you think the feds may come in here again if you hire me, cool. Put somebody in there, because you not giving any sign or any indication that you care about my culture.”
Gotti said that although the label has some good talent such as Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and Fabolous, there isn’t a strong leader to navigate and if someone doesn’t step in soon, Def Jam could be a thing of the past.
“This is helping our lives. This is a culture that is deep for us. You can’t let it die, and if you let Def Jam die, you’re gonna let a bit of the culture die, and the fact that you ain’t got no one up there leading the army and ain’t had nobody — you just let the artists come up there, give you a record and you put it out. That’s not what Def Jam is about.”
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