Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons is going back to his roots by partnering up with some fellow industry veterans to launch a new, YouTube-based record label called All Def Music.
According to reports, Simmons has linked with film director Brian Robbins and Loud Records founder Steve Rifkind for the power move.
Def Jam co-founder, music mogul and social activist Russell Simmons, alongside film director/producer Brian Robbins (founder and president of Varsity Pictures, director of “Hardball,” “Varsity Blues”) and well-known music executive Steve Rifkind have partnered with Universal Music Group to launch All Def Music, a new “record” label whose sole focus is the promotion and development of artists via the medium of YouTube. Under the ADM umbrella, the partnership will also launch ADD Management. Rifkind has been named CEO of ADM and ADD Management. The launch was announced today in a statement from UMG. The official launch of All Def Music is a concerted push behind the YouTube network (and underlying model of) All Def Digital that Simmons launched last year through his company Rush Digital Media. (Billboard)
Simmons has already been hard at work with some signings.
So far, the first signings to ADD Management include John A. Baker Jr., known as “Spoken Reasons,” a poet, comedian and musician, who has almost 1.4 million YouTube subscribers. ADD is also developing an unscripted music-themed show with rapper Asher Roth titled “Lemonade.” Roth has garnered more than 20 million views on YouTube. (CNet)
He also has plans to add New Orleans hip-hop artist 3D Na’Tee to the team.
“You can’t tell me she can’t rap,” Simmons almost shouted into the phone. “But do you know how expensive it is to make Na’Tee a star? You need to dress her, and, oh, she needs to get her hair done. She needs somebody like to me to pay attention to her at the early stage. Because if she’s running around in sweatsuits, she’s going to be just another girl, even though she’s fantastic. Nobody wants to sign her. Nobody wants to give a break. I want to give her a break. But she needs to be styled and she needs the best producer on the planet.” (CNet)
The news comes a day after reports of Priority Records being relaunched surfaced.
Once a prominent 80’s and 90’s hip hop label, Priority Records fostered the careers of a plethora of hiphop artists including N.W.A, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Geto Boys and more. In conjuction with Capitol Music Group and Insurgency Music, Priority Records will be officially relaunching. With its relaunch, the record label will release a new single titled “Higher” from Just Blaze and Baauer featuring Jay Z to be released August 13. Unlike its predecessor, the label will not be entirely focused on hiphop artists as they will be steering in a new direction. Taking cues from the electronic music blowout, Priority will be “producer driven,” focusing on “electronic and progressive urban music.” So don’t expect hiphop emcees but raver friendly producers instead. (Prefix Mag)