In celebration of Grammy Week, Def Jam Recordings hosted an "Open Studio" event on Thursday to promote the label's upcoming Undisputed album, which played throughout the gathering, and its eight-part documentary series, of which guests got to see the first episode. Both projects will be officially released in March and put the spotlight on Def Jam's rising roster of new talent.
Breakout sessions were held by Undisputed artists YFL Kelvin, TJ Porter, Landstrip Chip, SNEAKK, Lul G, Sensi Molly & Lil Brooke, Fetty Luciano, Nimic Revenue and Bernard Jabs. In addition, the all-day festivities at Hollywood's Paramount Studios introduced some of Def Jam's new signings.
Chairman & CEO Paul Rosenberg, EVP and head of A&R Steven Victor, VP of A&R Alexander “AE” Edwards, A&R’s Pedro Genao and Rico Beats, and EVP of content Noah Callahan-Bever hosted the event. Rosenberg and Victor also announced their plans for the label's future in hip-hop.
Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, YouTube’s Lyor Cohen, Karen Civil, YouTube’s Tuma Basa, TIDAL’s Elliott Wilson, iHeart’s Doc Wynter and Good Morning America’s Monica Escobedo were among the special guests. See Callahan-Bever's Instagram post recapping the event below:
Ten years ago I enjoyed the incredible opportunity of joining people like @StevenVictor and @defjam’s Gabe Tesoriero in Hawaii to witness the creation of Kanye West’s unrivaled classic, MBDTF. That experience yielded one of the defining works of my time at Complex. However, as proud as I am of that cover story, I’ve always wished that we had cameras there to document that magic for posterity. So when I was approached in July of last year by Steven, @dro_torre and @ae4president with their idea of flying all of Def Jam’s new signees to Los Angeles for a week of focused collaboration and creativity at Paramount Studios, I immediately knew that we had to capture it on film. This was the embodiment of @rosenberg‘s vision of music and content combining to create an impact exponentially larger than the parts alone. Also, this would be the zero hour for a crop of incredibly talented emerging stars, and an unreplicable opportunity to document them in this moment of their professional infancy. These had the potential to be moments of legend—history—that we would reflect on for years to come. So we sent @doctortaco and @pchopz23 out with the team from MGX, and they recorded hundreds of hours of footage of 17 artists working concurrently in 5 studios for 6 days. They captured moments of brilliance and moments of frustration; creative decision making small and large. Art and process and personality. The resulting compilation album, UNDISPUTED, and 8 part docu-series has been a labor of love, with an emphasis on labor, but something we’re all incredibly proud to be a part of. Yesterday, at Paramount, in the same studio where UNDISPUTED was recorded, we introduced our new generation of artists, unveiled their music, and screened a rough cut of the first episode of the series for press and partners. It was a nerve wracking and ultimately exhilarating experience, and I only hope that the project is met with the same enthusiasm when it can be enjoyed by the world, March 8th. Oh, and we had an In-N-Out food truck pull up in the parking lot, and that protein double double with cheese was slamming like the Iron Sheik! –: @brandonsmith8