Hip-Hop mogul Russell
Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records clothing company Phat Farm & Rush Communications, is plotting a return to the music industry with a new label, The Russell Simmons Music Group
"I love music
and I love the artists," Simmons told AllHipHop.com. "I’m looking
for a place where I can really fit in and serve."
Simmons told AllHipHop.com
that he already has several unnamed acts signed to the new label.
contract with Universal expired several months ago, has been in talks with executives
at several of the major record labels.
Many of Simmons’
business associates from Universal have relocated to Warner in the past year,
including Lyor Cohen, former Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group and
Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald, both former executive vice-presidents of the
Island Def Jam Music Group and new executives at Warner Music Group.
According to sources,
talks of a new label deal between Simmons and Universal eased after the departure
Def Jam from Simmons in 1999 for over $100 million dollars and merged it with
Island, forming the Island/Def Jam Music Group.
Warner Music Group,
a former Time Warner Inc. division, was sold to private investors for $2.3 billion
dollars this year. The label is headed by Edgar Bronfman Jr., former head of
In related news,
GQ magazine recently named Simmons Man of the Year, along with film distributor
Bob Berney, actor Dustin Hoffman and others.