14-time Grammy-winner (and 30-time Grammy nominee) Kanye West’s independent record label G.O.O.D. Music, has been signed to an exclusive long-term worldwide label agreement with the Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG). The announcement was made today by Kanye West, Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Motown Republic Group (UMRG) and Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) and Steve Bartels, President & COO, Island Def Jam Music Group.
The first release under terms of the new agreement will be FINALLY FAMOUS, the official debut by Detroit rapper Big Sean, arriving in stores June 28th. The album, executive produced by Kanye West, has already spun off G.O.O.D.’s first bonafide hit single, “My Last” featuring Chris Brown. The track is #1 on the Billboard Rap Songs chart, and #4 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
A protégé of Kanye West, 22-year old Big Sean (Sean Anderson) was signed when he was still a teenager. Big Sean is now the flagship artist on the G.O.O.D. Music roster. Kanye West will continue to serve as a core recording artist at Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Recordings.
“G.O.O.D. Music is an exciting new chapter in the long and successful association of Kanye West and Island Def Jam,” said Mr. Weiss. “As a recording artist and a producer over the past eight years, there is no one who has made a greater impression on the game than Kanye. We look forward to working closely with the new and established artists that he will be bringing to G.O.O.D. Music, which is already off to an impressive start with Big Sean.”
“Kanye’s genius has been proven time and time again on records and onstage,” said Mr. Bartels. “He not only pours it out for himself, but he has made the difference with his presence on innumerable projects with other artists who are indebted to him. Kanye is an integral core member of the IDJ family, and G.O.O.D. Music continues his unselfish tradition of bringing along great new artists to the forefront.”
Kanye West is a cornerstone artist on the Def Jam roster. His combined albums and singles have sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide, starting with his RIAA double-platinum debut of 2004, The College Dropout, and triple-platinum follow-up of 2005, Late Registration. The two albums spun off multiple hit singles, and generated five Grammy Awards, including consecutive wins for Best Rap Album of 2004 and 2005, as well as Best Rap Song (songwriters’ award) of 2004 (“Jesus Walks”) and 2005 (“Diamonds From Sierra Leone”), and Best Rap Solo Performance for 2005 (“Gold Digger”). Kanye’s next album, Graduation generated another three Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Song for 2007 (“Good Life”), and (in 2008) Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance (“Stronger”). 808’s & Heartbreak (2008) was Kanye’s fourth consecutive RIAA multi-platinum-selling album. It was followed by My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), his fifth consecutive #1 Soundscan debut, named the best album of the year by a majority of critics in the U.S. and UK. In addition to his own records, Kanye West has been featured as a guest on countless tracks over the years, and has shared in at least six Grammy Awards for his work with other artists.