January 30, 2008

Roc-A-Fella Remaining At Def Jam ... For Now

Contrary to online rumors, Def Jam has not dropped the entire Roc-A-Fella Records roster, Billboard.com has learned. Roc-A-Fella artists include Kanye West, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Tru Life, DJ Clue, Memphis Bleek, Young Gunz and Hector Bambino.

"Beans and Freeway didn't get dropped," says Beanie Sigel's manager, Mark Byers. "I just got off the phone with L.A. Reid talking about the next video for ‘Rain’ featuring Raheem DeVaughn that we're about to release. We're re-launching Beanie's project and releasing a ‘Rain’ remix with State Property."

Roc-A-Fella’s cohesiveness and brand strength waned after its leaders Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke parted ways in 2004. Since then, Roc-A-Fella artists haven't received the same attention as Def Jam stars like Ne-Yo and Rihanna, says an insider.

Jay-Z's inner camp, including A&R SVP Jay Brown and A&R VP Tyran "Ty Ty" Smith, tendered their resignations this month. However, the rest of Def Jam's A&R department is intact. Still, things are tenuous for hip-hop at the company.

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