Steve Rifkind Addresses Label Status, Negotiates New Deal With Universal

Music executive

Steve Rifkind has launched a new label and renegotiated a pressing and distribution

(P&D) deal with Universal Records.

Rifkind, who is

credited with introducing the concept of the "street team" to the

music industry, is also the founder of the seminal record label, Loud Records.

Rifkind said the

new imprint has been dubbed SRC2, although the name is certain to change.

The label’s status

with Universal was the subject of speculation after hit singles by David Banner,

Terror Squad and Remy Ma failed to translate into record sales.

Remy Ma and Banner

both have been vocal about the handling of their projects.

Rifkind’s new

deal now allows him the freedom to grow the label and develop artists signed

to the imprint.

"Coming from

Loud and doing what we did at Loud and seeing how big ‘Lean Back’ was, seeing

how big ‘Play’ was, everything else like that, it was me who changed the deal

around, so I could have the freedom to do what I had to do," Rifkind told

AllHipHop.com.

Rifkind’s roster

features rappers who have delivered solid radio hits for the label but have

witnessed minimal record sales.

Martin’s album

There’s Something About Remy: Based On A True Story contained the hit

single "Conceited (There’s Something About Remy)." The album peaked

at No. 33 on the Billboard 200 albums chart but has only moved a total of 117,000

copies.

David Banner had

a hit single called "Play" and faired better, moving over 300,000

units. But the Mississippi-bred rapper expressed his frustration with SRC in

the latest issue of Ozone Magazine.

"I feel like

I deserve a little bit more," Banner told the magazine. "But it ain’t

up to no other man to make my career…I’m not blaming [Steve], it’s not his

fault…if they don’t do what they need to do, I’m gonna get off my ass and

make a buzz myself. But yeah, I was mad. I can’t lie. Hell yeah, I was mad."

Terror Squad had

a massive hit with the single "Lean Back," which was No. 1 on Billboard’s

Hot 100 for three weeks. Their album True Story has moved almost 500,000

copies since being released in July 2004.

"If you look

at what we have done, even though TS should have sold more, or Banner should

have sold more, we are still breaking acts," Rifkind said. "And Remy

is just beginning. Then you take Akon, who sold 3 million records worldwide,

who’s not affiliated with any camp at all, look at what we did with him."

Akon’s new album

is due in stores Sept. 12 via SRC/Universal.

Rifkind also addressed

Remy Ma’s comments, stating "She’s an artist and she was upset and she

felt that it wasn’t handled right. But again, that’ why I am getting the freedom

to do what we do."

Rifkind founded

Loud Records in 1992 before the label folded ten years later.

The label produced

a number of legendary Hip-Hop artists, most of whom are still releasing albums.

Those artists include the late Big Pun, Lil’ Flip, Tha Alkaholics, The Beatnuts,

dead prez, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Fat Joe and others.

"Universal,

they are great people and they are talented people up here, but they’re used

to picking up records, they’re not used to developing artists," Rifkind

told AllHipHop.com.

Rifkind is also

developing a cartoon titled Kids Block with Hip-Hop producers The Trackmasters,

as well as preparing to release Pharoahe Monch’s highly anticipated sophomore

album Desire, the follow-up to his 1999 debut Internal Affairs.

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