Island Def Jam CEO Barry Weiss has come forward to address recent reports and speculation claiming his music empire, home to Kanye West, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and Rihanna, is experiencing financial woes.
Dismissing the “broke” reports, Weiss said his star-packed roster label is going through great times.
“I don’t know what the f*ck they’re talking about. Def Jam is not broke, it’s on fire!,” he explained in an interview. “We just did a deal with Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music and Big Sean’s album is a great success and will continue to garner a lot of attention. Kanye and Jay-Z‘s Watch The Throne has the whole world buzzing. Jeezy got an album coming out and his show last night in NYC has the whole industry excited. Rihanna just ended her amazing tour of her amazing album. Frank Ocean is on the verge of super stardom. Rick Ross and so many other great artists are part of our incredible roster. Of course we are looking to maximize our potential and are in search of additional African-American leadership to take us to the next level. But, let me be clear, Def Jam is on fire.” (Global Grind)
Earlier this month, G-Unit leader 50 Cent claimed Def Jam is experiencing financial difficulties.
In late June, Weiss announced a partnership with Def Jam and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.
Even though 50 has championed G-Unit’s independence, speculation has swirled about whether Lloyd Banks would sign to Def Jam where former G-Unit president Sha Money XL now resides as the Senior VP of A&R. 50, without saying it directly, shot down the notion of a Def Jam deal, citing the label’s supposed-financial woes. Recently, the legendary rap label has gone through a bit of restructuring with former head honcho L.A. Reid leaving and Barry Weiss stepping in as chairman and CEO. Regardless, Fif doesn’t seem too optimistic for a future at the label. “Well, Def Jam, I’m not even sure what that system — that system is not in a good space right now. They’re like $80 million in the hole,” he said, before laughing, “Don’t tell them I told you.” (MTV)
“G.O.O.D. Music is an exciting new chapter in the long and successful association of Kanye West and Island Def Jam,” said Mr. Weiss. “As a recording artist and a producer over the past eight years, there is no one who has made a greater impression on the game than Kanye. We look forward to working closely with the new and established artists that he will be bringing toG.O.O.D. Music, which is already off to an impressive start with Big Sean.” (Statement)
Def Jam executive Steve Bartels also confirmed the power move.
“Kanye’s genius has been proven time and time again on records and onstage,” said Mr. Bartels. “He not only pours it out for himself, but he has made the difference with his presence on innumerable projects with other artists who are indebted to him. Kanye is an integral core member of the IDJ family, and G.O.O.D. Music continues his unselfish tradition of bringing along great new artists to the forefront.” (Statement)