Geffen Records chairman Gee Roberson will transition to create and own a full service record company called Blueprint to be distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M, it was announced today by Interscope Geffen A&M chairman/CEO Jimmy Iovine and president/COO John Janick. The company describes the move as "consistent and in further consolidation of Roberson's other highly successful entertainment interests including managerial and artist development company Blueprint Group," of which he remains co-CEO.
New leadership for Geffen will be announced early next year, a spokesperson for the company told Billboard.biz.
Several artists on the Geffen roster are expected to join Roberson at the New York-based label, including rapper/producer Hit-Boy and Chicago hardcore rappers LEP Bogus Boys.
"I'm very happy about the knowledge and experience I gained at Geffen that will be very useful going forward in the future." Roberson said. "Now it's time to go back to my roots, that entrepreneurial spirit, wrap my arms around my own label and fold it into Interscope Geffen A&M. Based on the relationship I already have with Jimmy and everyone at the label, this is a very natural move that's filled with synergies."
Iovine added, "Gee has an extraordinary entrepreneurial instinct and that spirit has always been an important part of our company. John and I are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with Gee on his latest venture."
Roberson was officially named chairman of Geffen in June.
Roberson began his career at Roc-A-Fella Records, where he rose to senior VP of A&R. He later moved to Atlantic Records as senior VP of A&R and headed the label's urban music division. Meanwhile, in 1998, he co-founded his management company Rock Da World, signing Kanye West as its first artist, followed by Just Blaze. In 2004, the company changed its name to Hip Hop Since 1978. Six years later, Hip Hop Since 1978 merged with Bryant Management, which included Lil Wayne, Drake Nicki Minaj and T.I. among its clients. He and Cortez Bryan are co-CEOs of Blueprint Group, and were part of Billboard's Power 100 and Urban Power List earlier this year.