Published Feb 03, 2010After rumours shot up yesterday (February 2) that indie hip-hop imprint Definitive Jux would be going out of business, label head El-P has released a statement to clarify things. The good news is that Def Jux isn't folding, but it is going "on hiatus," says El-P, who will soon give up his post as the label's artistic director.
Here's a bit of El-P's message:
In 2000 starting a traditional record label made a lot of sense. But now, in 2010, less so and I find myself yearning for something else to put my energy into. I also see newer, smarter, more interesting things on the horizon for the way art and commerce intersect, and as an artist and an entrepreneur, I'm eager to see them unfold. The evolution of this industry is, in my opinion, exciting, inevitable and it would be nice to see the DEFINITIVE JUX brand be a part of it. In other words, maybe we can turn this hoopty in to a hovercraft.
All business aside, and regardless of what form JUX may inevitably take, my focus for the immediate future is going to be back-to-basics. The fun stuff: sitting in the studio and immersing myself in music, performing it for for my fans when the time comes and whatever (or wherever) else might be out there creatively for me. Thats how it all started and that's how the next phase will begin. The days of me dedicating the majority of my time and energy into providing JUX with a constant stream of physical releases from multiple artists are on hold for the time being. My heart (and what little common sense I possess) is telling me to simplify my focus and it has always been my policy to listen to my heart.
Truly, DEF JUX has been amazing to be a part of. So many good people. So much fun. I feel very lucky to be friends and collaborators with people who have affected and continue to affect my life and work deeply and indelibly. Working with the likes of Amaechi Uzoigwe, Jesse Ferguson, Jason Drake, and Katy Eustis at JUX as well as allies like Kathryn Frazier (biz3), Michael Bull and Lisa Socransky-Austin (to name only a few) has been incredible. These are people who worked for generally meager wages because they loved what they did and they believed in the artists and the idea of DEF JUX. Anyone would be lucky to have worked with even one person as dedicated and passionate as all of them are. They are true champions of indie music and they (and too many others to mention here) have my gratitude and loyalty forever.
You can read El-P's complete message on Def Jux's website.