Apparently L.A. Reid is out at Def Jam. And the harbinger of doom himself, Shyne, is here to tell us why.
Shoot up the club, Urban Daily:
You’re talking about Lucian Grainge who replaced Doug Morris?
Yeah, and I know LA Reid ain’t gonna be there no more. I don’t know what’s happening over there. It all depends on who takes over and his commitment to hip-hop music. I think that’s why…. It’s really tricky. I don’t like to judge nobody or throw anyone under the bus, but I don’t think there was a strong commitment to hip-hop from LA Reid. I was on my way out the door a few times and he begged me to stay. Now that he’s leaving, that’s definitely the door opening for me to spin off myself, you dig. I don’t know the direction they’re going in. I don’t know if they’re gonna put another guy in there that don’t care about hip-hop music. You understand? We need people like Russell [Simmons] and Lyor [Cohen] and Jimmy Iovine, people that bled and got their hands dirty and were in the trenches. We need the Eisenhowers that are gonna be there on the warfield with us to keep this going, and L.A. Reid wasn’t that. I’m interested to see who they’re gonna put in there. If anything, I might do everything through Cash Money or somebody else, but it’s a real question mark with Def Jam right now.
Last week, a letter Nas had written to Def Jam made its way on to the internet where he was talking about how they only gave him $200,000 budget for the album and he wasn’t having that. Was it a similar situation with you?
Yeah yeah yeah! You know, I wrote a letter too! I got a blog on MTV, I’m surprised they haven’t posted that up yet. It was called “Def Jam Is Dying.” I feel the same way. I’m all with what Nas is saying. Absolutely! He’s 1000% right! In the letter I wrote, it says “Def Jam is dying thanks a billion L.A. Reid. Middle finger to you too.” You know, because he don’t care about us, man.
It’s crazy that you’re telling me this, I said that he don’t understand that Nas and Ghostface are modern day prophets. When he was perming his hair and getting pedicures and manicures, Jimmy Iovine and Russell were putting in work. R&B dudes used to run it, and then this hip-hop thing came along and hi-jacked pop culture, and I don’t think L.A.’s one of those dudes that likes that.
At the end of the day, it’s about great music and great people making music. Nas is really a hero. What he did for hip-hop is indisputable, and L.A. Reid don’t get that! This is not about Def Jam the brand, it’s about the Nas brand! It’s about the music he makes. You need a machine behind you that believes in that. These dudes aren’t doing that. You got executives out there that get an act that sells a few million, and now they think they’re geniuses. Then you get a person like Nas, who is a legend and has a legacy, and you got a machine that doesn’t know how to preserve this legacy.
In my letter, I talk about how unless you give LA Reid a song with Ne-Yo on it, or one of his R&B singers, you’re outta luck! That’s not hip-hop!
Hate to say, “I told you so,” but the writing was on the wall. It’s just a fantastic dose of crazy that Shyne is questioning the decision-making over at Def Jam when his contract is on the top of the list of bad moves the label has made. That’s like Isiah Thomas having disclaimers against the Knicks’ front office back when he was a coach.
Make sure you go cop those new Rihanna and Ne-Yo albums dropping later this year.