Def Jam CEO Paul Rosenberg shares anecdotes from the past and present.
Paul Rosenberg, manager to Eminem, Danny Brown, and more, was recently named as CEO of Def Jam Records. Now, with his vision for the label beginning to come alive, Paul sat down for a conversation at the Music Biz conference in Nashville, as moderated by Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Joe Levy.
During the conversation, Rosenberg paints a vivid, yet simple picture of his first experience witnessing a young Eminem performing in Detroit. "The Red Sea did not part, the sun did not shine out of the heavens and make me realize that this was the next biggest artist,” explains Rosenberg. “But I thought he was really good.” After staying in touch, Rosenberg reconnected with Em after buying an Infinite cassette at a local shop. “He was selling it literally hand-to-hand to people and to stores, whoever would take it." It's hard to imagine the biggest rapper in the world peddling his wares at a grassroots level, but lo-and-behold - don't say Em never hustled.
He also touches on his vision for Def Jam Records, which was once one of the defining labels in hip-hop, housing the likes of DMX, LL Cool J, and more. Despite currently housing a respectably stacked roster, Rosenberg expressed a desire in returning his label to the glory days of yore. "“My goal for the label is to make Def Jam a place where all the artists that are connected to the culture that we represent want to sign again — as it once was,” Rosenberg explained. “If we have everybody wanting to be there and sign there, that means we’re doing everything right.”
Check out the full Variety piece right here, and sound off below. Anyone got love for Big Paul?