Russell Simmons Signs Run To New Label

This morning (April

13th) Russell Simmons formally announced his latest venture, Russell Simmons Music

Group, and revealed that he’s signed his brother Reverend Run of the seminal

group Run DMC.

In addition to

Run’s rock album, Simmons has also pulled R&B group Buddafly into

his latest venture.

The new imprint

will be distributed by Island Def Jam Music Group, a company that Simmons founded

in 1984 with then partner Rick Rubin. Simmons later sold the label in 1999 for

over $100 million dollars.

Simmons told

in November that he was in negotiations with several labels including Island

Def Jam, which is now helmed by Antonio "LA" Reid.

"I am happy

to serve LA Reid," Simmons told "I have never had anything

but respect for him. I am honored to by a part of his team."

In February of

2004, Reid was named chairman of the label by Universal chairman Doug Morris,

after former CEO Lyor Cohen left the label for Warner Music Group's top North

American slot.

Reid has had an

illustrious career as well and in 1989 founded LaFace Records, a joint venture

with Arista.

LaFace pumped out

hits by TLC, Toni Braxton, Outkast, Goodie Mob and others.

Reid took Clive

Davis' top position at Arista and signed Avril Lavigne, Pink and others. According

to published reports, BMG brass fired Reid because of his spending habits.

Reid, who has quietly

been reassembling Def Jam since several key people left with Cohen including

top exec’s Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald, said he was equally enthused

about the new relationship.

Reid revealed bringing

Simmons back on board at Island Def Jam was something he had considered for


“It has always

been my intention to structure a situation that would keep Russell in the Island

Def Jam family, and I am proud that we will be able to continue to accomplish

our goals together," Reid said.


has yet to catch up with the greatness of Russell Simmons and the extent of

his contributions to our music and culture,” Jay-Z said of Simmons. “It

is impossible to imagine the state of hip-hop today without accounting for Russell’s

visionary leadership over the past 20 years.”