Is DJ Khaled The New President Of Def Jam South?
It's on AllHipHop's Rumor page, so don't take this as fact, as I know so many people who read things on the internet like to do. From AHH:
"...[S]urely this isn’t a replacement for the dearly departed Shakir Stewart. Shakir signed Rick Ross and Young Jeezy to Def Jam and they are two of the label’s biggest stars. Def Jam had to do something. I heard that DJ Khaled has been appointed the new President of Def Jam South to sign up all the ill Southern rap acts."
Now I don't know if this is an exact number, but I believe Ace Hood sold something like 24,652 units of his debut LP in the first week it was out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that supposed to be the first artist on Khaled's new label, We The Best Music Group, or some shit like that.
Obviously album sales, particularly in the first week of release, aren't really a good barometer of measure anymore for how successful an artist is. Neither is how many times a song is on the radio. So I can't say Ace Hood has flopped, because his ringtones and digital download sales have probably done relatively well, and well, he got on an XXL cover somehow (so he's got to be mildly buzzing, I guess, right?).
Thing is, and maybe it's an Up North thing (hey guys, remember us, we make rap songs too), but I find it hard to believe that people here could pick Ace Hood out of a line-up. He could get on the stage at BB Kings or SOBs or whatever, and people would totally scratch their heads as to who this guy is rapping on the microphone, even if he was performing his own song.
Do people in the South know who he is? That's the question.
I'd wager they do (well, at least 24,652 do), and hiring Khaled to become the President of Def Jam South, to find and break artists in the South, that'd actually be a smart move.
Why? Because Khaled's biggest asset is his mouth (pause!!!). This guy just won't shut the hell up about anything he is involved or associated with. And while normal people find that sort of thing either annoying, or amusing in a very "let's laugh at him, not with him" sort of way, people on the street really embrace this dude. People love Khaled. And he's a salesman, always hawking his his services, his relationships, the artists he associates with, no matter where he goes. If he can harness that, and refine it, that's power. It'll work well for him at a label like Def Jam.
The downside to bringing him on board would be that he doesn't seem to be too forward-thinking in terms of the type of hip-hop he cosigns. Not saying it has to be any futuristic spaceman shit, but still, I think the trend in music– particularly rap– is definitely beginning to lean towards the experimental side. I mean, whether he wants to be something else or not (and for the record, I'm not really a fan of genre-labeling acts), Kanye's a rap artist. He is. I think if anyone isn't embracing his music right now, it may just be because they think it's not good. Not that he shouldn't sing. Because everyone loves T-Pain and Akon, and them dudes are rapping singers if you ask me.
I guess if you're Def Jam you gotta pick your poison. You can get some experimental rap exec or some cliched rap exec. Either way, you lose. Because no matter the form, rap isn't very interesting to most fans these days. And the fans are most important.