Former G-Unit president Sha Money XL spoke with SOHH about his recent move to Def Jam and his new position as Senior VP of A&R.
Despite fielding offers from Interscope and Atlantic, Sha said his final decision was influenced by Def Jam’s co-founder Russell Simmons and the late Jam Master Jay.
“Honestly, I’m from Hollis, Queens, born and raised in Queens Village, and Jam Master Jay was the first dude to really put me on being that when you think of Hollis, Queens, you gotta think of Run-DMC, Jam Master Jay, the illest rappers to ever do it,” Sha told SOHH. “Coming from Queens, starting the whole sh*t for hip-hop on a platinum level and you take that legacy with Russell Simmons, mix it up with the same Hollis streets that I walked in, the fact that I was mentored by Jam Master Jay, who is d*mn near the f*cking Def Jam. You put all of that in a melting pot and then you got me, who knows how to do it from a street level to a corporate level in the music. I’m a music man, you know what I mean? Not just a snob, exec-type dude. I do this music sh*t for real and I know what’s needed and they knew my vision was real and seen what I did with 50 [Cent], what me and 50 did with G-Unit. We built that brand from the basement to the building so it only made sense that my next step would be an executive calling shots to make sure hip-hop moves where hip-hop needs to move.” (SOHH)
Sha also hinted at how big of a contract deal he received from Def Jam.
“They gave me an NBA contract man,” Sha jokingly added. “I’m good. I’m playing and starting. We’ll just put it like that for right now.” (SOHH)
The producer revealed his new deal with Def Jam in late April.
“I’ve been floating around this industry since I’ve just been executive-producing 50 [Cent]’s albums,” XL said in an interview. “Finally, the call came. It felt so good. Def Jam is such a strong company and strong roster. The staff is amazing. I felt it instantly. I knew that this is something I can do with my New York vision and New York swag and bring that for all the guys that’s based out here…I spoke to Fif, to [his manager Chris] Lighty. I would love to see [G-Unit] there…Banks has an amazing record right now, independently. If things work out, then yeah, I would love to see that happen.” (MTV)
The Unit’s Lloyd Banks recently talked about possibly joining the Def Jam roster.
“I think he would make it his business not to be in the building when we around,” Banks said referring to if he were signed to Def Jam. “Some things you just can’t control. When, if, I get into that building, I will be the bigger business. You understand what I’m saying? So he would go from having an office to just operating from Florida. Pretty much. He knows that. This is the same guy months ago that said Def Jam would never sign me, what’s he an idiot? He’s crazy man. They putting that stuff up they nose. That stuff man, put them lobsters down and pick up the mic. I’m just saying. I haven’t had security, you’re just gonna see me and my guys [when we’re traveling]. Me? I can be professional and have a level mind, but things happen. Difference with me is these guys is a little older and the guys around me are still young and stupid, so I would hope not to run into those types of situations just for me. I’ve done been in this game for seven, eight years and the people, you just got understand when to separate the rapping from the real problems. You don’t be no bump into these guys situations, they make it they business not to be there and I can go anywhere I want to go. I’ve been doing it and won’t nothing stop.” (“The Cosmic Show”)
Check out a past Sha Money XL interview below: