Def Jam Vain-detta

Just when you think Def Jam and the Thimmontheth have played dead long enough to lose interest, the niggas find reanimation in the strangest of ways.

Def Jam’s gotten a strange whirlwind of press in the rapster chronicles this weekend. First, KRS-One goes off on one of his classic, amazingly insubstantial dissertations about how Def Jam is the worst shit ever to happen to hip-hop—at the threshold of Def Jam’s big VH1 suckfest, no less.

[Blogger’s Note: Granted, The Teacher is right, but apparently has little idea why. Anybody got a pin to put in that one?]

On the heels of this outburst, I scour the Interwebs Nigga News (INN) to find Nas discussing the possibility of becoming Island Def Jam’s new village idiot. I understand this move for Nas’ sake, as being Island Def Jam’s latest rapper-ternt-pres-o-dent would likely give him the financial freedom needed to tear off and run from Kelis’ looming alimony/child support threat once and for all. However, I don’t understand such a move from the label’s perspective.

Then again, I haven’t understood a Def Jam/Ruthh power play since 1996.

We’ve touched on this subject before here at Negro Please, but I might as well throw it down once more in non-industry speak. Just because you’re a great fry cook doesn’t mean you should be the nigga at the end of the long table in Conference Room A at McDonaldland corporate headquarters. This applies to Nas’ fan-turned-rival-turned-bawse-turned-homie, Jay-Z and the human Janet Jackson billboard before him.

To Jermaine Dupri’s credit, So So Def was a very successful and diverse imprint for a long time. But he’d gotten the Def Jam chair after having already sank the motherfucker. Also, I don’t know who’s at IDJ handing bottomless purse strings to niggas with bad credit.

That compulsive spending leprechaun couldn’t borrow my library card, let alone run my business. He’d probably try to charge a Bentley and a trip to Las Vegas on the motherfucker. But, I digress.

I’ve been a fan of Nas’ music since 1992 when I too was 12 and came back from Virginia for mushing my grandma-nana’s pastor upside the head. I even dig what he’s talking about in his intentions to clean Def Jam up artistically from within—no Andreas Hale. Not only can you not expect idealism and altruism to reign supreme in the bowels of Corporate America, you also may not be able to avoid the pitfalls of vanity.

Why, Ronnie—whatever do you mean?

In 2005, Jay-Z made Def Jam into the biggest vanity label since, well, Roc-a-fella. He once again, on a much larger stage, showed the world he best knew how to make Jay-Z shine. The Carter Administration, ironically named after a one-term political failure and commemorated with an official seal, is unfortunately held to Jay-Z’s golden standard of self. I don’t know about you, but I remember the return of a rusty, tired-ass Washington Wizards Jordan instead of the #45 promised on Encore.

[Blogger’s Note: It’s like Jay-Z magically became himself again when he let go of the IDJ reigns. See: American Gangster]

Could Nas see past the opportunity to build a great palace of his own? Would he Memphis Bleek the clout and promotional might left in IDJ’s shell of its former self and throw it behind Jungle, Wiz, Nashawn the Millenium Thug and

WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!! WTF?! THIS AIN’T LAKEY THE KIDD!!!

Sorry. Reflexes.

Nas is a great MC and musical talent, but doesn’t strike me as the cleanest weave in the kufi outside of his music. If such an offer is truly on the table, it’s yet another display of just how desperate and clueless Island Def Jam has become. Putting their best efforts into expensive promotional campaigns (for some) and video games and shit has taken precedence over actual product development for years now. In this vein, having a pretty figurehead to distract the public clearly means more to the legendary imprint than finding someone with the business experience and artistic understanding necessary to turn the shop around.

With all that said, I kinda can’t wait until it’s Gucci Mane’s turn to play with the steering wheel.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Whatever did happen to that Tru Life record? ron@ronmexicocity.com

  • Silly Chilly Willy

    Damn, Ron! You went in on this one …

    We know who Nas is, whatever he does business-wise has never proven to be successful. Wait and see, I guess. One thing for sure, beware of the thimmonth, ethpethially if he brought a nith gifth…..

    • Silly Chilly Willy

      And a Pierzy and J7M for good meathure…

  • SCARTOWN

    LoL at the thought of Gucci being the president of anything.

  • BIGNAT

    J7M
    hahahahhaa ron ron back on his b.s.

    “But he’d gotten the Def Jam chair after having already sank the motherfucker. Also, I don’t know who’s at IDJ handing bottomless purse strings to niggas with bad credit.”

    “That compulsive spending leprechaun couldn’t borrow my library card, let alone run my business. He’d probably try to charge a Bentley and a trip to Las Vegas on the motherfucker.”

    i would not let that mother fucker hold nothing. his little ass has vices like strippers and betting money/cars on madden and losing. also with the nas stuff would you be mad that he used the position to make himself. a better artist because he is controlling shit maybe he can finally get some killer beats for his albums. by stealing them from other artist nasty nas becomes esco the pirate hahahahah. hey nas is that the beat from my album you said that was not good for me. yeah because i felt it was better for me

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    Putting NaS in Jay-Z’s old chair would make perfect sense, from the vanity standpoint.

    He’s already proven that, no matter who he pulls into his fold through nepotism, it will still only be about him (Brave Hearts), thus he’d “Carry On Tradition” (see what I just did there?). They could always play up the NaS vs Jigga “beef”, which no one wants to let go of anyway. & just maybe, he’d sign Nature to DJ as a form of peace treaty.

    What ever happened to Ill Will Records?

    • No Name

      Ill Will at one point or another became “The Jones Experience” once Nas signed the joint contract with Def Jam & Columbia. Since HHID, I think it’s reverted back to Ill Will. No one believed in that Jones Experience shit anyway.

      • Detroit P

        The Jones Experience= Taking constant L’s

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    I must admit, you surprised me Ron.

    I thought for sure you’d be all over Baby [||] & Wayne @ his hotel room/studio/birthday party, where Birdman had Weezy’s birthday tattoo’d on his arm, after buying him a million dollar watch.

    That story reeks of nullus…

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    “In this vein, having a pretty figurehead to distract the public clearly means more to the legendary imprint than finding someone with the business experience and artistic understanding necessary to turn the shop around.”

    And there you have it.

  • Bobo D

    I thought it would be the mystery of yung berg getting attacked by the shoeless guy. Berg season is back.

  • The Fedz

    For what its worth I’d give Gucci a shot before Nas. He’s managed to make names like OJ Da Juiceman, Nicki Minaj, Wocka Flocka Flame, and Frenchie household names. Be honest you dont remember none of them Braehearts.

    • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

      Wocka Flocka Flame??/ LMFAO!!!! Who in their right mind would call themselves that????

  • latino heat

    @ Fedz

    who the fuck are Wocka Flocka Flame, and Franchie? obviously not household names. and i thought we had Lil Wayne to blame for Nicki Minaj not Gucci. your right about not remembering any of the Lamehearts though.

    Nas proved when Ill Will Records went nowhere that he’s a artist, not a label head. i think it’s time to let Def Jam r.i.p. there basically like Jive Records now. they started out as a great rap label but over the years have turned into a r&b / pop label. the only artists there moving units are Ne-yo and Rhianna. what was the last rap artist that went gold there? just retire the name and let the legacy they left live on forever.

    i actually bought one of those Carter Administration shirts a few years ago.

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      What up Taino?

      “just retire the name and let the legacy they left live on forever.”

      Cats now get a little feel of what I was dropping in the winter. I even left this on the DJ 25th page:

      “p.s. When they do tributes like this(Def Jam), it(USUALLY) means they ain’t gonna be around much longer. Peep game.”

      Like a watch @ a party for (COINCIDENCE AIN’T IT) 25 YEARS of service.

  • oskamadison

    Everything real, Def Jam ain’t been right since Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles left and that damn LA Reid took over, a dude who’s had great success with R&B but hip-hop wise, all he could claim is Outkast. The first thing that needs to happen is to get someone up there who has the business savvy, who respects the legacy of Def Jam AND who understands what Hip-Hop is, both as a music and a culture…wait a minute, that was supposed to be Hov, wasn’t it?

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

      Maybe KRS-one was trying to say give him the job….

  • paychexx

    well since them def jam niggas hiring, i could twice the job, for half the check….

    gucci becoming president is scary but could actually happen…i could see jeezy right now…

    mr mexico keep up the good work, my dude.

  • http://www.divehiflylo.com PARIS PERSHUN

    DOWNLOAD “POWER OF THE TONGUE” MIXTAPE … CLICK MY NAME!!!!!

    A.Dd+

  • that nigga

    Yo Paris, I tried listening to your Mixtape. I like the beats and the concepts, just not my cup of tea. One thing I can say tho, that shit aint wack. I get it.

  • Mitch

    Nice post. I got mad respect for you, Ron.

  • capcobra

    give the job to dame dash.

  • abdulnasir

    Seriously, give Dame the job!

  • won1

    Tru Life New Music Coming Out On ‘Bing4Life Records’ in 2030,Look Out 4 The Smash Autotune Hit “How I Purposely Dropped The Soap”

  • giantstepp

    Hold da fuck Ronny! The real issue is…you did what to grandma-nana’s pastor?