Def Jam Recordings, one of the most iconic and influential labels in hip hop and R&B culture, has appointed Kardinal Offishall as its new global artiste and repertoire (A&R). The Canadian rapper, record producer, DJ, and former Universal Music Canada executive will work directly with CEO Tunji Balogun and Executive Vice-President LaTrice Burnette to sign and develop talent from around the world.
In an Instagram post, Kardinal Offishall expressed his excitement for his new role and his mission to “bring y’all the best artistes from around the world and shift culture with the amazing talents we discover, nurture and partner with.” He also thanked his team, family, and friends for their support, and shared his personal journey of recovering from a health issue that had him in a hospital bed a year ago.
In an interview with the Toronto Star, Kardinal Offishall shared his passion for helping artists create the best albums possible and his goal to elevate the artists he signs to superstar status. “We get to create, or at least curate, the new face of Def Jam — the new culture, the new look, the new sonics, the new energy,” he said.
Kardinal Offishall has a proven track record of success in the music industry, with major hits such as ‘BaKardi Slang’, collaborations with Akon ‘Dangerous’, ‘Beautiful Girl’, and ‘Numba 1’ with Keri Hilson. ‘Dangerous’ was certified quadruple platinum in Canada and triple platinum in the United States, and he has worked with rising Canadian artists like Zach Zoya, Savannah Ré, and Emanuel during his time at Universal Music Canada.
Def Jam Recordings was founded nearly 40 years ago in New York City by producer Rick Rubin and entrepreneur Russell Simmons and has played a pivotal role in launching the careers of hip hop pioneers like Public Enemy, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys. Today, the label’s roster includes major artists like Pusha T, YG, 2 Chainz, 070 Shake, and Jeremih, as well as Canadian acts Justin Bieber and Alessia Cara.
With Kardinal Offishall’s expertise and passion for discovering and developing talent, it will be exciting to see the new faces and sounds that will emerge from Def Jam Recordings under his leadership.