XXL Exclusive: Def Jam - Rush, Lyor & Liles!

Photography: Jonathon Mannion

Taken from [XXLMag.com]
Lyor Cohen is about to pull a power move. “Is Method Man confirmed?” he asks a publicist. Cohen is inquiring about Meth’s participation in VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, which, this year, is dedicated to Def Jam. Method Man is not confirmed. “What’s Method Man’s number?” he demands in his clipped Israeli accent. Cohen is soon dialing the digits. It goes to voice mail.

“Tical, guess who this is?” It’s an album skit come to life.

Cohen, the former president of Island Def Jam, is working the phones because the label is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It’s also why he opened his Upper East Side townhouse to XXL on Rosh Hashanah for this momentous round table. For the first time ever, Cohen, his Def Jam co-founder, Russell Simmons, and former Def Jam president Kevin Liles will sit together and candidly reminisce (and argue) about hip-hop’s most storied record label.

It’s about to get bigger and deffer.


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Posted on Sun, 15/11/2009 - 05:49

Cover: Jay-Z Towers Over New York [XXL]

Nearing the packaging stage of Blueprint 3, Jay-Z stands over New York on October's XXL cover and interviews for the hip-hop magazine in a campaign for his 11th album due out soon. Mr. Carter hits on many topics that see him in headlines. Included with BP3 talk and new singles, "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and “Run this Town,” his Presidential run of Def Jam and being a business, man in the world of hip-hop and out. Some cut-outs from the entire piece below:


“I’m not hating on young people. Like, when people say that, I’m like, What are you talking about? It’s just stupid. I’m not hating on young people… I’m not Bill Russell, [saying] Michael Jordan ain’t shit. I’m saying Lil Wayne and Kanye are like LeBron and Kobe. My job as someone at the forefront of the game is to leave it in a better position than when I came in. Same way that Russell [Simmons] left it to me. ’Cause this thing saved my life. Literally. So I have a responsibility to it karmically. And after that it’s on you. I did my part. I made ‘D.O.A.’ I said it. I made the statement. I made the push. Here, y’all take it from here.”


“So if you ask me to grade my performance as the president, I’d say A-plus. No one can bat a 100. It’s impossible. I mean, everyone is looking at my shit. But if we really looked under the hood [of] every single [record exec] and the acts they put out in that time, I’d be comparable to anyone.”


“But when I say I’m the best, I don’t say that outta my ass. I say that with all my stats behind me. I put that against anybody. I mean anybody. I really believe that… I believe in a lot of things. 
I believe that ‘SportsCenter’ is the best thing on TV. I shouldn’t have to prove it. But I do have these stats to prove it. I’m talking about real run. I’m not talking about years off. I’m talking about straight—boom, boom, boom—back to back. We’re not talking about heritage acts either. We’re not talking about respect what I’ve done. I’m talking No. 1 [albums] 10 times. The Beatles is the only one [to have more 
No. 1 albums]. They got 19, and if I get a surge of creativity, I could make nine albums next year.”

XXL’s October issue includes stories on The Making of The Blueprint, the current state of lyricism in hip-hop, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II and much more. The mag hits newsstands September 15. -Marvin Brandon

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Posted on Mon, 31/08/2009 - 08:36

Video: Nipsey Hu$$le // Exclusive Interview // XXL

Nipsey Hu$$le took a timeout with XXL here. His latest mixtape, Bullets Vol. 3 recently. Don't step on Slauson's finest. [DOWNLOAD HERE]

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Posted on Thu, 06/08/2009 - 10:49

Nipsey Blogs for XXL, Releases Artwork for New Mixtape

What up y’all it’s ya boy Nipsey Hu$$le. This first blog I’ma let you know what you can expect from me for the week and what I been gettin into.

I’m out here in LA filming a movie with my homie Ving Rhames called The Wrath of Cain in which I play one of his sons. That shit been mind blowing to me so I’ma take one of my days of bloggin to talk about that. You can expect that on Tuesday. I also been workin on my album South Central State of Mind which drops December 22nd so I been tryin to balance the filming with the music shit.

I just finished my new mixtape Bullets Ain’t Got No Names Vol.3 which is my best work to date. Y’all gonna go nuts when you hear it! That’s hosted by the homie Whoo Kid, Jonny Shipes and The Empire. Below is the cover artwork you see it here first on my XXL takeover so stay tuned I’m here all week. Let me know what yall think of the cover.

Other than that I just been dealing with my everyday life. A lot of people been askin me about how I feel about West Coast music and the state of it and what the problems have been with breakin new artists and what I did to break myself out here so I’ma discuss the whole West Coast music shit and my mind frame on it in my Thursday blog. Friday I’ma give my fans the Updated West Coast and I’ma name my top 5 new artists and top 5 new producers who I wanna shine the spotlight on like my homie Game did for me. Hussle music All Money in No money out… —Nipsey Hu$$le


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Posted on Tue, 14/07/2009 - 11:26

Cover: 50 Cent Fronts XXL

Posted on Thu, 20/11/2008 - 02:03

Cover: Lil Wayne in Outer Space for XXL

XXL October front sees N'Orleans native, Lil Wayne playing the first man in hip-hop to portray the astronaut.

Posted on Fri, 22/08/2008 - 09:30

Another Double-Headed XXL

On the eve of a new album, "The Recession" Young Jeezy holds still for XXL's double-cover issue with Brooklyn's Don Diva, Foxy Brown. The tumultuous career of late from Ill Na Na allows her to open up for XXL out this September just three months out of prison. The Boss Bitch is back!

Posted on Fri, 18/07/2008 - 12:52

XXL August - T.I. Gunnin' Till Lockdwon

(Issue #105) T.I. makes a huge run in the industry, putting out another major studio album, signing a three picture deal and offering his family life to MTV on a platter. All before he is sent to serve a sentence for multiple charges of machine gun possession. T.I took time out to pose and Q&A with XXL.

Posted on Fri, 20/06/2008 - 10:41