According to Rolling Stone, Dave Free stepped down several months ago in order to focus on a new venture on his own. Although Free is no longer a part of the label, that didn’t stop him from collaborating with TDE after introducing the latest signee Baby Keem.
In 2018, during an interview with Vibe, Free spoke about his position with TDE and plans to expand the label in 2019.
“We got a lot of new artists, we got REASON, we got other new things coming,” he said. “To us, it’s about replicating the success but also stretching our hands into as many fields as humanly possible. So all those big investors and all those big guys that wanna be with a winning team, come talk to TDE ‘cause we’re looking into a bunch of different fields.”
Dave Free also divulged that he planned on getting into film, which may explain his departure from the game-changing label he helped create.
“We’re getting heavy into the film game. I’m trying to get heavier into it. Kendrick [Lamar]’s trying to get heavier into it. A lot of the guys want to get more into the content creation game. We got a lot of new artists, we got REASON, we got other new things coming. To us, it’s about replicating the success but also stretching our hands into as many fields as humanly possible.”
Despite news of his departure, Dave Free and TDE have been tight-lipped about the exit with neither releasing a statement to confirm or deny the rumored split.
“It’s more like working with a brother that just so happened to love what I do, too,” Lamar said. “So when you put these two individuals into creative spaces, it’s a different type of chemistry, it’s a different type of bond, it’s a bond that really can’t be broken, whether it’s in the studio or behind the camera. It’s like Voltron.”
Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith founded TDE more than a decade ago with Free introducing him to his high school classmate, Kendrick Lamar, shortly thereafter. The two went onto sign several groundbreaking artists including ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, REASON, Sza, SiR, and Baby Keem.