News: Def Jam Goes Gangsta, Hires DJ Drama's Grillz Pal As New A&R

Monday, Jul 8, 2013 4:10PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Def Jam has added Atlanta producer Don Cannon to its growing team as the company's new Vice President of A&R to help secure new talent.

The news became official early Monday (July 8) courtesy of Def Jam's Karen Kwak.

Def Jam Recordings expands its A&R strength with the appointment of award-winning record producer and DJ Don Cannon to Vice President, A&R, it was announced today by Karen Kwak, Executive Vice President/Head of A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group. Mr. Cannon will oversee current and new artist projects, and will actively seek out, discover and sign new talent to the label. Mr. Cannon will be based in Atlanta, and will report directly to Ms. Kwak, while working closely with Steve Bartels, President & COO, Island Def Jam Music Group. "Don Cannon is exactly the kind of multi-faceted producer and modern-day A&R executive who understands the Def Jam mission and culture and where we are headed for the future," said Ms. Kwak. "He has already worked with some of our most successful artists, and we look forward to the fresh talent he will bring to the label." (Island Def Jam)

Cannon has also issued an open statement to confirm his new power move.

"A music person can only dream about being at Def Jam, the most important hip-hop destination in the world," said Mr. Cannon. "I feel I have a cutting edge vision for where the culture and hip-hop are heading and I'm excited to be joining the team. I'm already working 24/7 to drive the innovation of music forward and I'm confident we'll land some big successes in the very near future." (Island Def Jam)

Back in 2011, Don helped place the finishing touches on Young Jeezy's Thug Motivation 103 album.

"I'm trying to finish up Jeezy's [Thug Motivation 103] project right now, I'm in New York City," Cannon said in an interview. "The pressure with the new Jeezy record, at first, I did, and the reason I'm telling you this is because every time we've came bigger, better and stronger with each record...With this album, you kind of have to come up with a new concept. The concept of this album is 'Thug Motivation 103', it's a new class to motivating people on the streets to -- get their money and live how they want to live. You just always gotta think what's better than what's going on right now. This record that me and Jeezy have has to be either just an outright club smash or a conceptual record to where people feel it and it goes with the time period, 2011 and where the hip-hop game is going." (Set Free Miniute)

After landing at Def Jam in spring 2010 as the senior vice president of A&R, SOHH spoke to Sha Money XL about working in the same building as his pal 50 Cent's rap enemy Rick Ross.

"I support every artist on the label," Sha told SOHH. "I had conversations with 50 about that and we even spoke on if I had to find Rick Ross a hit and I had one, it wouldn't be for me to not give it to him. I support everybody on this label, I want everybody to win, the company makes money and we all make money and we all grow, so, it's not about holding somebody back trying to [stop] someone from moving ahead and he's doing his thing. So it's nothing for me to hate on, I work for this company so everybody needs to win because I'm on a team. I'm not a beef squasher, I don't get in the middle of none of that sh*t, all I know is whoever has a problem with me just needs to have a problem with 'me.' 50 is the big homie and his strategies are for what works for him and I support all of that but at the same time I'm in a business vibe, this sh*t is not about beef. Beef don't make money, man. That sh*t is sports, it's just about being the most competitive person out there and n*ggas can't f*ck with 50 on that level because he keeps going, his money is long, his mind is wise." (SOHH)

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