El-P Puts Def Jux On Hiatus, Focuses On Music

The Definitive Jux founder reveals some big changes ahead for his label, and clears up rumors.

Amidst rapidly-growing rumors that Definitive Jux was closing down, founder and Artistic Director of the label, El-P, brought clarity to the situation on its web site.

"Reports of our demise have been mildly exaggerated," explained the acclaimed producer. "This year, a decade after starting DEF JUX and after overseeing the releases of some incredible albums including the forthcoming release of my dear late and great friend Camu Tao's brilliant KING OF HEARTS LP, I'm stepping away from my duties as artistic director for the label to concentrate on what I love most: being a producer and an artist full time. This is something I've been contemplating for a few years now, and can't think of a better time or, with the eventual release of Camu's record, a more poetic way to transition into a new direction."

El-P revealed that the label's web site, as well as sales of its catalog and merchandise would remain in tact. In addition, a Def Jux compilation titled King of Hearts, "a 10 year anniversary retrospective and some other goodies," will be released. However, the actual record label Def Jux will be "put on hiatus."

"We are not closing, but we are changing. The process is already underway, and the last several months (for those wondering what the hell we've been up to) have been spent dealing with the technical aspects of wrapping up the label in it's current form and re-imagining our collective and individual futures," elaborated El-P.

The letter continued, explaining that in 2000, a record label made much more sense than in 2010. El-P revealed his wish that Definitive Jux make the leap forward as the music industry evolves, rather than be left behind. He also said his focus would be to go "back-to-basics. The fun stuff: sitting in the studio and immersing myself in music, performing it for for my fans when the time comes and whatever (or wherever) else might be out there creatively for me. Thats how it all started and that's how the next phase will begin. The days of me dedicating the majority of my time and energy into providing JUX with a constant stream of physical releases from multiple artists are on hold for the time being. My heart (and what little common sense I possess) is telling me to simplify my focus and it has always been my policy to listen to my heart."

After thanking the fans, El-P intimated, "You [the fans] are why we do any of this, and I'll never be able to express how much your support means to all of us. I think I speak for all of us Jukies when I say I love making music for you and can't wait to make more."

More on this story as it develops.

8 Comments

  • frank

    i think he is bringing it back to his heart and soul ,the truth the essance the elements

  • b

    the fact remains that most hip hop fans are young and can't relate well to a guy in his mid to late 30s. Unless you are already established or at least have the ball somewhat rolling by that age, success is most likely a pipe dream. So contrary to what people on here are saying, the dude above isn't hating. He's stating the simple truth. If you're dropping your debut at 35 or 40, don't expect it to blow up.

  • bios

    not surprising. Defjux haven't really been the same since 2003. None of their most recent artists have taken off. Both of Cage albums flopped, and they weren't cheap to produce either. has been a long time coming. They have been awfully quiet over the last 12 months. sign of the times.

  • doja

    Good call on El-P's part. He did a lot for the underground with Def Jux - putting out some pretty abstract shit, a lot of stuff that pushed the boundaries. Of course there were many failures in the mix, but that's just part of experimentation. Still though, I was starting to feel ashamed of the fact that I'm a fan of some jukies. Look at the albums that this guy had a hand in... RJD2 - Deadringer Mr. Lif - I Phantom Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein MURS - The End of the Beginning Perceptionists - Black Dialogue ...and that's just the stuff that I was feeling in particular. Looking forward to a future El-P release and whatever comes of Def Jux. Peace...

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  • Assassin221

    A reimagining? The fuck does that mean? Anyway, I used to cop Def Jux back in the day but I got out of that backpacker shit the past few years, some of it's pretty good but just not what I'm bumping most of the time so this isn't much of a loss for me.

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