(AllHipHop News) Queensbridge rapper Nas was the star of the hour for Def Jam's industry-wide conference call held today (April 5) to announce upcoming music and label ventures. The label's younger roster was also represented via Mississippi rapper/producer Big K.R.I.T., Atlanta's 2 Chainz, and YG from Los Angeles.
Big K.R.I.T. shared that his new single “I Got This Here” from the acclaimed mixtape, 4Eva and a Day, will be released next week. "I'm excited for people to see the visual. It's one of them records, it's a lot of energy, man. I appreciate the love people already showing me for the record," he said.
On June 5, Big K.R.I.T. will debut his long-awaited Def Jam release, Live From the Underground, a project which boasts guest appearances from Melanie Fiona, Bun B, 2 Chainz and others, and even Blues legend, BB King. "I'm excited for people to hear it. There's a lot more music, a lot more live instrumentation, singing," Big K.R.I.T. exclaimed. "You know, I couldn't use as many samples as I wanted; it's a more retail project, so I had to be a little more creative with ideas and create music that sounds like something."
2 Chainz, the self-professed "humble" MC who the Def Jam team noted travels with a personal chef on the road, has created a buzz for himself over the past few months leading up to the recording of his debut Def Jam album. First, he notes that he is set to release new music with his labelmates Kanye West and Big Sean, with whom he surprised the crowd by bringing them out recently at the South By Southwest Music Festival.
“Tomorrow is Good Friday, and me and the crew (Creeeeew!) are gonna be dropping the first single off that compilation, off that group album. It’s called “Mercy”; it’s featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, myself, and of course, Kanye-to-the. I’m excited about it.
"It seems like God is working so many things, so here’s another look that I just didn’t even anticipate. I’ve done a lot of work with ‘Ye for like a year now. It’s one of those songs I told him over the phone, ‘I don’t remember.’ [laughter] That’s a good thing. It’s jammin’."
Regarding his long-term industry outlook, 2 Chainz said, “I like to call myself an artist because I’ve been out for some while now, but I expect to put out material that will be successful, not just in the eyes of me and the people within my circle. Me, myself, I feel like I’m one of the new artists who can potentially do numbers anytime, when people don’t always sell albums at first.
“Also, I feel like I’m a person that can change people’s lives around me for the better in the next five years, because I’ve been around change. There’s good change, there may be bad change, so I’m just taking the bitter with the sweet and learning a lot from it,” 2 Chainz added.
YG is set to showcase his acting chops during tomorrow's (April 6) debut of the Mario Van Peebles-directed We The Party. His mixtape Just Re'd Up has been well received in recent months, and he noted that he just completed shooting on the video for "I'm A Thug" with Meek Mill. The West Coast artist also has tracks with Nipsey Hussle and 2 Chainz, and the forthcoming "How To Make It In America" with Rostrum Records' Mac Miller.
Among the other tidbits Def Jam shared on the industry call:
- “Mercy” will drop tomorrow (April 6) with Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz
- Their big push is currently for Kanye West’s single “Theraflu” featuring DJ Khaled and DJ Ferris
- Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin’” single is currently the #1 most added record in urban music
- New Def Jam artist Verse Simmons’ “Bad Motherf*cker” featuring Snoop Dogg is an upcoming release
- The label is still promoting “No Church In the Wild” featuring Frank Ocean and The-Dream, the latest single off seven-month old Watch The Throne
- Rihanna and Chris Brown’s “Cake” is climbing the R&B charts, and Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You” is a current favorite on the R&B front
- The G.O.O.D. Music compilation album is slated for Summer 2012
- “Rhythm DJs Listening” is one to watch for
-Young Jeezy’s “Leave Me Alone” featuring Ne-Yo and “Rock” from singer/producer The-Dream are both climbing the charts
- The industry shouldn’t overlook Justin Bieber’s single “Girlfriend”, described by the label as “a record that’s for everybody”
Def Jam has plans to release projects from Nas, Big K.R.I.T., 2 Chainz, and YG through Summer 2012.