In December 2012, then-Def Jam president Joie Manda exclusively told Billboard that the label had signed a deal with the "All Gold Everything” rapper. The signing also included a joint venture with the rapper's Gold Gang Records.
At the time, James lauded Def Jam for investing in a green artist. "It's like a gamble," the rapper told Billboard. "You don't know what you're getting but you have a strong belief that this can [be] something big. They believed in me."
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James also noted that the high expectations that came with his deal (rumored to have a $2 million price tag) wouldn’t make him change his quirky aesthetic exemplified by the successful "All Gold Everything."
"I'm gonna continue to do me -- the same thing that got me to where I'm at right now," he said.
Def Jam had not responded to Billboard’s request for a comment at press time.