News: Irv Gotti Ditches Def Jam Dream, Strikes Mega Deal W/ Jay-Z's Pal?

Thursday, Dec 20, 2012 10:49AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Former Murder Inc. CEO Irv Gotti has reportedly moved on from wanting to become Def Jam Recordings president and is going into business with music mogul Lyor Cohen.

Reports of the duo's possible partnership surfaced online early Thursday (December 20).

Former Warner Music Group honcho Lyor Cohen has found his first partner in a yet-to-be- announced talent management firm -- and sources say he's brought aboard Irv Gotti, the former head of record label The Inc. who discovered acts including Ja Rule and Ashanti. We further hear that Gotti is aiming to advise rapper Drake while Cohen, as Page Six previously reported, has been giving career advice to Kanye West. "If Lyor and Irv do work together, it's possible they'll have two of the biggest hip-hop stars under their management," said a music insider after a photo showing Drake and Gotti meeting together appeared online. (New York Post)

Last week, buzz of rap star Kanye West and Lyor teaming up sprouted across music blogs.

Former Warner Music Group chief Lyor Cohen is now Kanye West's close adviser. We hear that Cohen, who left Warner Music in September, has been advising West on his music deals, including an upcoming tour. "He's 100 percent in Kanye's camp," said a source. Rumors have swirled that Cohen will soon launch his own talent-management company to structure 360-degree, multiplatform deals for artists. Music industry heavy hitters -- including former Def Jam exec Kevin Liles and Warner Bros. Records chief Todd Moscowitz, a former Cohen disciple who left the company last week -- have been mentioned as potential partners. A friend of Cohen said, "Lyor is a friend of Kanye's, and many artists reach out to him for advice." (New York Post)

Last winter, Gotti publicly campaigned for a top-ranking position at Def Jam.

"It caused a buzz, and I want people to know I didn't start the whole 'Irv Gotti for president' thing; the people did," the former Def Jam A&R told MTV News as he walked the red carpet at the reopening of Jay-Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan last week. "It was a crazy thing, and it was all good." It doesn't seem like Def Jam brass will put Irv in the big chair, but Gotti is appreciative of the support he has gotten from the hip-hop community. "Everybody was riding. It was a lot of love," he said last week. "Everybody felt what I was saying and was riding." (MTV)

Just a few weeks ago, Cohen left his spot at Warner Music Group to pursue individual endeavors.

In making the announcement, Cohen said, "To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day, and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: 'keep on keepin' on' in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community." Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Access Industries, said, "I personally want to thank Lyor for his dedication and contributions to Warner Music. He has been both a business partner and personal friend and I wish him only the best." Stephen Cooper, WMG's CEO, said, "Lyor Cohen has built something very special here. While we understand his desire to move on to his next challenge, the enduring success of our recorded music division will serve as a great testament to the progress we've made during Lyor's time at WMG. We are grateful for Lyor's contributions, and we wish him the best. I'm confident that given the strength of our talented management team in Recorded Music, we'll be able to drive further success." Following Cohen's departure, the company's senior label executives will report directly to Stephen Cooper. (Market Wire)

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