Russell Simmons & Steve Rifkind Team Up To Launch New Label All Def Music

Russell Simmons and Steve Rifkind will use YouTube to sign, develop, and promote new talent at a new label at Universal.

Russell Simmons, Steve Rifkind, and veteran film and TV producer Brian Robbins have teamed up with Universal Music Group to launch All Def Music.

Simmons, who co-founded Def Jam Records, and Rifkind, who founded and was chairman of Loud Records, and is founder, current chairman, and CEO of SRC records, will put together their considerable knowledge and experience to identify, sign, and develop talent via YouTube.

"How [Russell] built Def Jam and how I built Loud was through the streets and through grass-roots marketing," said Rifkind according to "Cut to 20 years later, we're applying this same formula, this same blueprint, using YouTube as our street team, using YouTube as our A&R source, using YouTube as our branding machine."

"I wake up at 4:30 or 5 in the morning, ready to work," added Rifkind. "I haven't been this excited [in years]."

Universal Chairman and Chief Executive Lucian Grainge also spoke on the deal, explaining that All Def Music is part of Universal's strategy to join experienced music industry minds together with the the latest in media and technology.

"It is truly a thrill to be able to welcome Russell back to our family. As one of the founders of Def Jam with Rick Rubin (whose American Recordings is a part of Republic Records), Russell and Rick created an iconic brand that forms part of the foundation of [Universal Music Group] and a label that has had a profound impact on popular culture," wrote Grainge in an email to Universal employees.

"I can't say enough about how highly we think of Russell both professionally -- his vision and entrepreneurial talents are legendary -- and personally. He is a rare treasure," read the email. "And with Brian's track record on the content side and Steve's on the business side, they make a formidable team."

Def Jam was home to a slew of seminal Hip Hop acts, including Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and others. Simmons sold his share of the record company for $100 million to Universal Music Group in 1998. His Russell Simmons Music Group put out Run DMC's Rev. Run's solo debut, Distortion, in 2005. Meanwhile, Loud was home to various Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Alkaholiks, and other releases.

RELATED: Russell Simmons Signs HBO Deal


  • Mat

    This is a really exciting movement towards digital discovery. is focused on discovery, but allows for 2 video LIVE stream engagement/feedback(voting) in addition to recorded content. Live, immediate, crowd-sourced feedback and voting is where artist discovery is going.

  • hypestyles

    Steve Rifkind: "we're applying this same formula, this same blueprint, using YouTube as our street team, using YouTube as our A&R source, using YouTube as our branding machine"-- So, does this mean that they basically don't plan on hiring anybody? LOL, oh well--

  • v

    just as Tony responded I cannot believe that a single mom able to make $6292 in a few weeks on the internet. did you see this site link... WWW.CAN99COM

  • sxxx4

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  • Anonymous

    New beats available @

  • Cassidy

    Please sign me Russell! Meek is out hustlin my pathetic wack ass.

  • sxxx9

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  • ytr

    Dear Russel and Steve, Does this mean we get real hiphop back? Does this mean you will get ridd of that dirty south crap? Are you doing this for the money or music? I mean the both as you are rich as fuck so doing it for the music must be great!

    • YoungGuwop

      It's garbage music from everywhere. Stop using that dirty south excuse lame. You probably listen to backpacker music and have no fun at all.

  • stoops

    the labels are gonna use youtube..thats rather dumb because if I build up my own hype and all my videos start hitting the 1 million mark and beyond I dont need a record label.

  • R.Pgh

    'Steve Rifkind must have been sniffin, to catch something so dope it left Monica Lynch's pussy drippin'

  • jasonnns

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  • Anonymous

    GIVE ME A CHANCE Youtube is all about finding new artist, & though I been rapping for a while im still consider a new artist. I just want my music heard thats all, im not looking for no record deal, getting famous 'r anything like that.! so please just spare a few sec. to check me out, & if you like what you heard please SUBSCRIBE so ill know you actually listen & support

  • Khalil

    I know it is trivial but Run DMC never recorded for Def Jam. They were managed by Russell and produced by Rubin, but never contractually under the Def Jam banner. Think Twista and Roc-A-Fella circa 2003-2004.

  • ed

    First stop, sign

  • danny truth to Asher Roth signing to the label then?

  • Hiphophead1985

    He can produce all subgenres in hiphop (east,west,south,trippy clams casino) and rap all different flows like east coast and bone thugs

  • Hiphophead1985

    If yall need a "Rza" type artist who produces,raps,directs,designs,and leads/mentors other artists, look up Neme$1$

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