Lyor Cohen Claims Drake Reneged a Handshake Deal to Sign With Def Jam

Lyor Cohen Breakfast Club
Courtesy of Power 105.1 FM

Lyor Cohen during an interview with the Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 FM. 

Veteran music executive and YouTube's global head of music Lyor Cohen stopped by The Breakfast Club on Wednesday (Aug. 1) for a rare interview appearance. The all-encompassing 70-minute discussion touched on a multitude of topics, including posing with Kanye West in a MAGA hat, his rise in music, working for the National Bank of Israel, starting 300 Entertainment, and nearly signing Drake to Def Jam.

Around the 18-minute mark, Cohen claims Drizzy reneged on a handshake deal the two had for him to sign with Def Jam. "The truth is Drake shook my hand. It doesn’t matter. He didn’t stop the party. I’m happy for him and I’m happy for his fans. It didn’t hurt my feelings, but you know I’m old school," Lyor admitted.

The 58-year-old's timeline may be a little cloudy, as Cohen left Island Def Jam back in 2004. Drake inked a deal to Young Money Entertainment in 2009 during Lyor's tenure at Warner, where he served as WMG's chairman through 2012.

Later on in the interview, Charlamagne brought up the photo Lyor posed for alongside Universal Music's Lucian Grainge and Kanye West, with Yeezy donning a MAGA hat. "I didn't see the hat. I was so mesmerized by being invited [to Calabasas]. You know, Kanye is a beautiful host," he suggested shortly after the 43-minute point. "Everybody's blowing my [phone] up like, 'Bro what's going on?' And, that's when I realized what happened. It was so fascinating to see."

Check out the interview in full below. 


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