Now that Jay-Z is no longer the head of Def Jam (and has signed with the evil overlords known as Live Nation), Damon Dash has decided to relaunch Roc-A-Fella Records, the label he, Jigga and Kareem Biggs started in the ’90s when no one would sign Jay-Z. Dash is relaunching the label with a Curren$y mixtape, to be followed with a Ski Beatz tape as well. Dash apparently negotiated a deal with current Def Jam head L.A. Reid (who owns the label), and he feels that since Jay-Z walked and Roc-A-Fella is essentially dead (its last release was Jadakiss’ The Last Kiss in April ’09), he can use the name without fear of Jay-Z.
“Def Jam or Universal bought the brand. I think the ‘beef’ [with us and Jay-Z] was that Jay made it clear he didn’t want me or Biggs to be a part of it. That’s really where it was at. Now that he doesn’t work for Def Jam anymore, he doesn’t have the right to use the name. So there’s no reason for us not to use it. It’s there, and it’s a brand that’s not being used. So I was like, ‘I’ll take it.’ It always meant something to me.”
I guess the next question is how long the recently “reunited” Diplomats are going to be back with Dash. But then again, Damon has gone indie (apart from his yikes work with Jim Jones) so maybe he won’t just dive back into the gangster-pop rap melee again. [MTV]