Reverend Run, Buddafly on RSMG roster.

Island Def Jam Music Group chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid announced this morning (April 13) that the company has formed a 50/50 joint-venture deal with Russell Simmons' latest venture, the Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG).

Simmons, who will head the new venture, has named King Shah Productions/Chocolate City Music founder Tony Austin as RSMG president. Initial signings include Reverend Run (Simmons' brother and a former member of Run-DMC) and R&B sister trio Buddafly, both of which will have albums out later this year.

Since co-founding the original Def Jam Records two decades ago, Simmons has branched out to film, TV, fashion, Broadway and food/beverage businesses.

Reid calls Simmons "one of the guiding spirits and musical godfathers of hip-hop in America and around the world."