Russell Simmons can't leave the music business alone. The Def Jam Records co-founder, is launching a new label, All Def Music, that will mine for talent on YouTube. Uncle Rush's partners in his latest venture include Loud Records founder Steve Rifkind and film director/producer Brian Robbins.
The All Def Music label will be distributed by the Universal Music Group and plans to promote and market its artists via YouTube. Billboard reports:
The official launch of All Def Music is a concerted push behind the YouTube network (and underlying model of) All Def Digital that Simmons launched last year through his company Rush Digital Media. As well, a partnership between Simmons and Robbins on the venture, via Rush and Robbins' AwesomenessTV startup, was announced earlier this year. The pair had also collaborated on hip-hop documentary "The Show" in the mid-'90s.
Rifkind, who founded Loud Records in 1992 (home of the Wu-Tang Clan, Xzibit, Three 6 Mafia among others), had most recently signed a three-year deal with Universal in early 2011 to continue on as president of SRC, the hip-hop label he founded in 2002, before exiting in September of 2012, reportedly going on to help promote a new basketball league, though details on the fate of the league remain scarce.
“The exponential growth of Internet-based video has created a powerful new outlet for music and music-based content, and the launch of All Def Music is a part of our broader strategy to partner with some of the most experienced entrepreneurs in media and technology to identify future stars and develop powerful content on the world's fastest growing media platform,” wrote UMG chairman Lucian Grainge about the new business and its attendant model.
One of the All Def Music label's first signings should be familiar to Hip-Hop heads, Asher Roth. The rapper will have his own unscripted show on Simmons' All Def Digital (ADD) channel called Lemonade.
Check out a trailer for the ADD venture below.