Paul Rosenberg Forming Venture with Universal Music Group

Paul Rosenberg to Form Label Venture with Universal Music Group, Become Consultant to Def Jam Recordings

. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Billboard)

Accomplished Creative Executive Naim McNair Joins Def Jam Recordings

 Def Jam Recordings announced today changes to its senior management structure. Def Jam Recordings Chairman & CEO Paul Rosenberg has decided to step down from his position to launch Goliath Records, a new joint venture with Universal Music Group (UMG). He will continue to serve as a consultant to Def Jam on its legacy artists, while also remaining the principal of Goliath Artists, Inc., the management firm that handles Eminem among others.

Rosenberg will also maintain his role as President of Shady Records, Eminem’s joint venture with UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M.

Rosenberg said, “Lucian offered me a dream opportunity to serve at the helm of Def Jam. The experience I had running one of the greatest, most storied record companies of the modern era was incredible. I will remain forever grateful. I’ve learned a great deal, but one of the most important things I learned is that my ability to multi-task is not without limits.

My new relationship with UMG gives me the ability to continue to sign and develop talent in a more focused and streamlined way, while still dedicating the time necessary to fulfill my management duties and foster the many entrepreneurial endeavors connected with Eminem.”

The company also announced Naim McNair, Senior Vice President of A&R at UMG, will expand his responsibilities with the added title of Senior Vice President, A&R at Def Jam Recordings, bringing significant experience and creative leadership to the label.

Throughout his 20-year career, McNair has worked some of the industry’s leading producers, artists and entrepreneurs including Top Dawg, Future, Tommy Brown, Ariana Grande and Sage the Gemini, among many others. Prior to his UMG role, McNair served as Senior Vice President, A&R at Interscope, Geffen A&M and before that as Senior Vice President of A&R at Republic Records.

He previously served as an A&R executive at MCA Records and Warner Bros. Records, as well as a consultant for Epic Records and Top Dawg Entertainment. McNair is a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore.

UMG is in the process of identifying a new CEO of Def Jam Records in the U.S.  In the interim, Jeffrey Harleston, UMG’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, will oversee Def Jam in addition to his current responsibilities.

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Hot 97’s DJ Magic’s 6th Annual Car, Bike and Lifestyle Show pics

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Hot 97’s DJ Magic’s 6th Annual Car, Bike and Lifestyle Show pics

Hot 97’s own DJ Magic was back at it again, for his 6th Annual Car, Bike and Lifestyle Show. The “Take It to the Streets” tour took it to South Shore Nissan this year, where exotic cars and women were in abundance. Straight Movin was in full force as DJ Magic and Prince Carter came through with the ultimate entertainment and networking experience. Face painting and bouncy houses were also featured, making this an event that the whole family could enjoy.

DJ Magic would be remiss if he did not thank his sponsors for making it happen, especially South Shore Nissan, who was a gracious host. Pawn Rite, Nick’s Professional Touch, Billboards 4 Hire, Jump Around Party Rental, Monster Energy Drink, Iconic Decor Rentals, VIP Pro Audio, Boss Life Certified, Hot 97, Island Energy Drink and Def Jam Recordings all helped make this event a success., Chicken & Waffles On Wheels and the Jerkman, kept everyone fed.

The event was hosted by D. Chamberz and Grand Hustle’s own, Jonathan Torres; Hef Da Great was on point behind the scenes. Marquee talent was on deck with performances by Bakeman Global, Jayel, Turbeazy, L.I.V.E. Wire, Snax, Long Island Budda, Tonee Marino, Wavey, and Pyrex Plat, who brought out Hip Hip icon, Pudgee Da Phat Bastard, to name a few.

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Photo: Sleepy Jay of FEDS Magazine
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urban radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singers
Photo: Sleepy Jay of FEDS Magazine

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urban radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singersradio facts,radio djs,urban adult,Urban Radio,
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Def Jam Fortefies Executive Team, Promoted Rodney Shealey and Theda Sandiford

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Theda Sandiford Promoted to Senior Vice President, CommerceDef Jam Recordings, in a strategic move to strengthen and restructure the top levels of its executive leadership team, has promoted the widely respected label veteran Rodney Shealey to Executive Vice President of the label, and has promoted Theda Sandiford to Senior Vice President, Commerce, it was announced today by Paul Rosenberg, Chairman & CEO, Def Jam Recordings, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG).

In his newly expanded role, Mr. Shealey will work closely with Def Jam’s artists, managers and partners to design and execute strategies across all platforms. Mr. Shealey will now oversee Def Jam’s marketing department while continuing to run its urban promotion division. At the same time, Ms. Sandiford, who has excelled within UMG in the fields of marketing, sales, and international commerce, will now head Def Jam’s growing commerce and digital marketing initiatives. Mr. Shealey and Ms. Sandiford, who are based in New York, will report directly to Mr. Rosenberg.

“Rodney and Theda are seasoned, veteran leaders who have earned the respect of their colleagues throughout Def Jam, UMG, and the industry at large,” Mr. Rosenberg said. “They represent the forward vanguard of imaginative executives whose task it will be to develop global success for our outstanding roster of artists.”

“I’m excited to hit the ground running in this new role at Def Jam, the label I’ve called home for the past twelve years,” said Mr. Shealey. “In that time we’ve had a lot of success, broken a lot of records, and launched the careers of a lot of superstars. It’s time to take up the mantle of a new set of goals and challenges. We’re developing a roster of emerging artists here at Def Jam that have amazing potential. I’m thrilled to work with Paul Rosenberg, Rich Isaacson, and the executive team here to unleash that potential and deliver incredible music and artists on behalf of this iconic label.”

“Returning to lead the commerce and digital teams at Def Jam where I started my label career in single sales takes my career full circle,” said Ms. Sandiford. “It’s an honor and pleasure to represent the brand and the next generation of hip-hop cultural purveyors.”

Mr. Shealey, who has served as Execu­tive Vice President, Urban Promotion, since 2014, is a 12-year Urban Promotion veteran of Def Jam, having first joined the department in 2007, as Vice President, and having been promoted to Senior Vice President in 2010. He began his career at Epic Records where he was mentored by the late Polly Anthony, and rose to the post of Senior Vice President, Promotion. Prior to his arrival at Def Jam, Mr. Shealey spent two years as Senior Vice President, Promotion, Virgin Records.

Ms. Sandiford entered the UMG commerce sector in 2016, as Vice President, Commercial Partnerships, and was promoted last year to Senior Vice President, International Commerce & Digital Marketing. Prior to UMG, she spent four years as Vice President, Digital Marketing & Sales, Republic Records (a division of UMG). Her first stint with the company was in 1999, a four year engagement as Senior Director, New Media, at the former Island Def Jam Music Group. She followed that with positions at American Greetings Mobile, Rush Communications, her own Theda Dotcom LLC, and Heatwave Interactive, before arriving at Republic in 2012.

Ms. Sandiford’s early New York background in music includes positions at WBLS/WLIB, WYNY, and Billboard magazine, where she was nominated for Music Director of the Year in 1995, by both CMA and Billboard. She graduated from Tufts University in Boston, 1992, with the Bachelor Of Arts degree in American Studies. In addition to her music business talents, Ms. Sandiford became a Certified Sommelier with the International Wine Guild in 2010.

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Roc Nation Names Co Presidents Shari Bryant and Omar Grant

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Pictured Credit: Mark Clennon

Congrats to Shari Bryant and Omar Grant who have been hired as Co-presidents of the Roc Nation. The industry vets both at one time worked at Roc Nation, Bryant was an intern who went on to work for Def Jam, Atlantic and Warner Records and Grant was the head of A&R at Roc Nation for almost a decade. He has worked with a roster of stars like Rihanna, Big Sean, Belly and Shakira and new signees Rainy and DJ Mustard. He also worked at EMI and Epic Records.

Tyran Smith, Roc Nation founder and President of A&R said: “Shari and Omar love culture and all it encompasses. Both are consummate professionals who understand and respect artists and their process. It’s an honor to work alongside and see them at the helm, poised to usher in the next Roc Nation generation.”


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Asylum Records Names Wayne “Wayno” Clark Vice President, A&R

Wayne “Wayno” Clark Named Vice President, A&R for Asylum Records

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urban radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singersNoted music executive Wayne “Wayno” Clark has joined Asylum Records, Warner Music Group’s indie-spirited, streaming-focused imprint, as Vice President, A&R. In this role, he will cultivate Asylum’s fresh crop of talent and align them with premier producers and songwriters. Based at the label’s New York headquarters, Wayno will report to Asylum General Manager Gabrielle Peluso. He has already added Chicago Hip-Hop star 600Breezy to Asylum’s blossoming roster and will A&R the debut album from Detroit rapper Sada Baby. 

“Wayno is an authority in the hip-hop community, having spent years climbing the ranks and working with some of the biggest names in the space,” said Peluso. “His widespread network and his reputation as a respected go-getter are apparent in the emerging acts he’s already brought to us. The relaunched Asylum is made up of a dynamic group of creatives whose hunger and drive will help propel our roster to forward, and I’m thrilled to welcome Wayno into the family.” 

“Asylum is a place where independent artists have the freedom and creative control to express themselves through their music, with support from some of the best young execs in the industry,” said Wayno. “The work Gabrielle’s team has done thus far is impressive, and I’m excited to start this next chapter of my career and continue to develop and mentor a new generation of talent.”

This announcement comes as Asylum is riding a wave of successful hip-hop releases, including platinum-selling emcee Ugly God’s “Hello,” which generated over 15 million streams, and Detroit upstart Sada Baby’s Bartier Bounty mixtape, which generated 7.9 million streams in its first week alone. 

Previously, Clark served as Assistant A&R at Roc-A-Fella Records, where, in 2003, he led hip-hop duo Young Gunz to a Grammy nomination. Throughout his nearly 15-year career, Clark has served under the leadership of A&R greats such as Kyambo “Hip-Hop” Joshua, Gee Roberson, and Lenny S., and has worked with superstars from JAY-Z to Nas.

In 2012, Clark founded Triangle Offense, a management, A&R, and marketing group. His current management clients include hip-hop newcomer TJ Porter (Def Jam) and singer-songwriter Daniel Munoz (Epic Records). He also serves as co-host of Complex News’ hip-hop debate show, Everyday Struggle, alongside DJ Akademiks.

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Lil Durk Talks to The Breakfast About Why He Left Def Jam

“They didn’t really know what to do with me.”

Lil Durk stops by The Breakfast Club Radio Show and discusses why he left big label Def Jam. He explains to them how he felt that Def Jam was holding him back.

His new signee King Von joins the interview as well. He talks to Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy on why he signed King Von. King Von was just released from prison and explains how he started rapping a few months ago. The two also explains how King Von is still trying to learn all the new things from social media.

He also talks about his hometown Chicago, and how he feels like Chicago artists need to leave to succeed. Charlamagne asks how he feels about Kanye West moving back, and he explains how a lot of people loved it and other didn’t care.

Later in the interview, Lil Durk talks about his relationship with girlfriend India. He talks about how one day he wants to marry her

You can watch the full interview down below:

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Tina Davis, VP of A&R at EMPIRE Distribution, on The Music Industry and New BET Show

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urban radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singersOakland, California, native Tina Davis developed a natural flair for music and media early on. She has worked her way up to becoming one of the most influential A&R execs in the industry, first as senior VP of A&R at Def Jam for more than a decade. She is currently VP of A&R for independent Bay Area music and distribution company Empire, which inked deals recently with Universal Music Group and Hitco, and is also developing and producing television content.

How did you get your start in the industry?

I got my start in the industry by working as an assistant at Chrysalis Music Publishing for my best friend from high school, LaRonda Sutton. Then interning for Def Jam’s A&R staff while working as an A&R admin for them on the West Coast.

Did you go to college?

I attended Grambling State University in Louisiana.  I did not finish. I had one year left and I decided to seek a job in the music business. I envisioned being a sports anchor and reporter.  I loved journalism and being at the anchor desk in front of the camera. I changed directions because I could no longer get financial aid so I decided to go for my love which was music.  I played classical piano for 13 years and knew I didn’t want to be a pianist. I chose to focus on the music business.

You started off on the performing side in Oakland then decided you wanted to work for Def Jam. Do you still have the urge to be in front of the camera? 

Yes, I do have the urge to be in front of the camera.  I recently created, executive produced and appeared on a new, ten-episode show called “The Next Big Thing” on BET that’s due out this fall.

radiofacts.comEmpire is described as an independent music distribution company. What are some of its artists and projects?

Empire is an independent music distribution company, but it also a music label.  We have Young Dolph, Tyga, Lil Duval, Wande Coal, Jade Novah, MAJOR, Mario, Trevor Jackson, Cierra Ramirez many more. I’m responsible for everything concerning the artist and repertoire.

You worked in A&R at Def Jam for a decade. What artists are you most proud of having worked with?

I’m most proud of working on Scarface “The Fix,” DMX, Case, Montell Jordan, Music Soulchild, LL Cool J, The Nutty Professor, and the Rush Hour soundtracks.  There were so many great projects … and proud moments.

Are there challenges for women executives within the world of A&R?

There are absolutely challenges for women executive in the world of A&R.  It is hard to maintain a relationship if you’re in the studio all night and morning with stars.  Your relationship becomes a messy pool of insecurity and hurt. You sometimes find that your business etiquette and kindness is mistaken for a personal interest and you have to get past that and get the music done and on time within budget.  I have found that the majority of the artists that I’ve worked with respected my position and knowledge. However, there were others that needed to be reminded from time to time.

Has it changed since you started in the business?

It has changed for me because of what I have accomplished.  I cannot say what the junior female executives have to go through.  I somehow feel they may be going through bigger challenges than I did when I was a young A&R.  However, we didn’t have Human Resources for a period of time.

Tell me more about “The Next Big Thing” on BET. What type of show is it, who is on it?

“The Next Big Thing” is airing in the fall on BET.  It’s a music competition show that takes contestants through an artist development boot camp.  The boot camp includes the tools that are needed to become a star. You’re competing against yourself.  If you put in the time and use the tools that are provided you can be The Next Big Thing. I created the show to give those fans that don’t have a deal and that don’t have direct access to A&R reps the opportunity and the skills needed to be better.  If they all learn from the tools music and artistry will elevate. That will be my contribution to music overall. That kid that’s in the heart of his town and never believed he could be heard and learn from the greats, will have that opportunity to shine!

In BET’s “The New Edition Story,” their manager had a massive heart attack dealing with them. Would you say that most artist managers should expect the same outcome? 

I don’t think all managers will have the same outcome that New Edition’s manager had.  If you’re emotionally invested and it’s your only income source, you can very well be stressed out.  It’s a 24-hour job … An artist manager does it all. They manage everyone that is involved in the artist’s career.  They bring opportunities to their clients and manage their ancillaries. 

What kind of advice would you give a young manager today? 

The advice I would give is to have more than one client at all times.

What has been the most challenging and the most rewarding part of being a manager?  

The most rewarding part of management is seeing a new artist break and rise to stardom.  The most challenging part of management is getting an artist that has major success to do what they did to get there.

The industry has drastically changed over the last two decades. What do you think happened to R&B?

I think there were a few things that happened to R&B.  One is the fusion of hip-hop and R&B.  Rappers are singing and singers are rapping.  The other thing is the lack of respect for musicianship and production.  Who is the modern Quincy Jones? I also feel that the creation of autotune allowed people that can’t sing a fighting chance.

How important is it for today’s artists to know about black music history?  

It is very important for artists to know about music history, in general, to strive for greatness and to carry on the legacy that precedes them.  However, it is not important for success anymore.

Could this be the disconnect with R&B today? 

It is absolutely one of the reasons for the disconnect in R&B music today. However, the biggest disconnect is the lack of artist development. Especially in these times of streaming, touring is the biggest money maker for urban artists.  

How do you keep up with music trends? 

I keep up with trends by having young adults around me as much as possible and knowing the history of art and life. Nothing is reinvented on the wheel of art and life, it’s just enhanced and developed through experience.

What are your thoughts on the streaming industry and the future of options for music fans?  

The streaming industry has taken over. Consumers consume music freely through subscription.  The downfall is that artists, writers, and producers do not get paid what they used to get paid so they rely on ancillary income like touring, PROs, Sound Exchange and merchandise.  

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Big Sean Will Headline North American “Unfriendly Reminder Tour”

Big Sean To Headline North American “Unfriendly Reminder Tour”

– Grammy nominated and multi-platinum G.O.O.D. Music / Def Jam Recordings artist, Big Sean, announced today his North American headlining “Unfriendly Reminder Tour”, which is set to kick off April 12th in Orlando, FL. The multi-city trek produced by Live Nation will hit a number of major U.S. cities including Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and Detroit. The outing will feature direct support from acclaimed rapper Playboi Carti, along with opening sets from Shy Glizzy and GASHI. Big Sean will perform fan favorites spanning his entire discography, going beyond a normal album tour. The 31-city tour is scheduled to wrap June 3rd in Toronto, Canada. See full routing of concert dates and venues below.

The “Unfriendly Reminder Tour” will be a celebration of Big Sean’s decade long career signed to G.O.O.D. Music and pay tribute to his fans. Each fan will be able to vote and choose their top 20 songs for their respective cities and help curate the set list from his entire discography. Voting will be available starting on Thursday, February 8th only at All stops will have brand new tour merchandise available and in select cities fans will have the option to customize handpicked pieces.

Live Nation pre-sale tickets will be available on Thursday, February 8th between 10AM-10PM local time. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 9th at 10AM local time at


” Tour Dates:
Thursday, April 12th Orlando, FL CFE Arena
Saturday, April 14th Miami, FL Bayfront Park Amphitheatre
Sunday, April 15th Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place
Wednesday, April 18th Houston, TX Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Thursday, April 19th Austin, TX H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
Friday, April 20th Dallas, TX The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Monday, April 23rd Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
Tuesday, April 24th San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
Wednesday, April 25th Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
Saturday, April 28th San Francisco, CA Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Sunday, April 29th San Jose, CA Event Center at San Jose State University
Tuesday, May 1st Seattle, WA WaMu Theatre
Thursday, May 3rd Vancouver, Canada PNE Forum
Saturday, May 5th Edmonton, Canada Shaw Conference Center
Tuesday, May 8th Minneapolis, MN Armory
Wednesday, May 9th Kansas City, MO Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Thursday, May 10th Nashville, TN Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Friday, May 11th Atlanta, GA Coca Cola Roxy
Monday, May 14th Charlotte, NC Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tuesday, May 15th Washington, D.C. Anthem
Friday, May 18th Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Saturday, May 19th Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
Sunday, May 20th Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
Tuesday, May 22nd Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Friday, May 25th Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
Saturday, May 26th Indianapolis, IN Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
Sunday, May 27th Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Tuesday, May 29th Milwaukee, WI BMO Harris Pavilion
Wednesday, May 30th Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion
Saturday, June 2nd Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
Sunday, June 3rd Toronto, Canada RBC Echo Beach
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