Two decades into their business partnership, and both Eminem and Paul Rosenberg are still going strong.
The two cover the Power 100 issue of Billboard, after Em became the only artist in history to debut eight straight albums atop the Billboard 200 with Revival and Paul becoming the new chairman and CEO of Def Jam Records.
In their story, the two spoke on Agent Orange (Em, naturally), the move to Def Jam (Paul), and the days of streaming. Some choice quotes:
Paul, on the move to Def Jam
“To me, this is an opportunity to do something great in the music that I grew up loving, that I’ve been passionate about since I was 10 years old, and in a lot of ways it’s a dream come true,” says Rosenberg. That dream, he says, will hinge on returning the label to what he sees as its four founding pillars: “originality, authenticity, cutting-edge artists” and “rapper as rock star” branding. “Def Jam is the greatest hip-hop label that has ever existed — I don’t think there’s much argument against that,” he says. “I don’t want anybody to think I want to make it an old-school hip-hop label, because I don’t. I want to follow that blueprint into the future with the kind of artist that exists now.”
Eminem, on streaming
“I think rappers like J. Cole and Kendrick [Lamar] and Joyner Lucas rap to be the best rapper. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do. Some people might not care to be the best and just know how to make good songs, and some people make wack songs. [Laughs.] Hip-hop is always evolving, though, and that to me is the most important thing about staying in tune with what is going on.
“The market is so oversaturated right now that it has shortened the life span of records; it’s here for a day, then it’s gone. You wake up and people are like, “Alright, what are you going to put out now?” What do you think, I made my album last night?”
The entire article can be read here.