Veteran music executive Lyor Cohen stopped by the Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club and revealed a few coveted vignettes of his experiences in the music industry; both recent and past.
Cohen is known for being the head honcho at Def Jam; founder of 300 entertainment; YouTube’s Global Head of Music; and manager at Rush Productions. During the interview, he revealed he almost signed Drake before the Scorpion rapper chose to sign with Cash Money Records.
“The truth is Drake shook my hand,” he said. “Shook my hand.”
Still, Cohen affirms he doesn’t hold a grudge against Drake for turning down his initial offer with Def Jam. “It doesn’t matter,” he admitted. “He didn’t stop the party. I’m happy for him and I’m happy for his fans. It’s all good. It didn’t hurt my feelings, but I’m old school. I come from a different thing.”
The music mogul also addressed the controversy behind a selfie he recently took with Kanye West sporting a MAGA hat in support of Donald Trump with Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge. Apparently, Cohen says, he didn’t even notice Ye was wearing the hat. “I didn’t see the hat… I was fully immersed in the experience [and] honored to be there,” he revealed.
Additionally, when asked if he was responsible for the downfall of Roc-A-Fella records, he dismissed the question and said to ask JAY-Z and Dame Dash that. He also side-stepped against any claim that he was a culture vulture and stated: “Who’s Dame Dash? I don’t even know him.”
Amid all the drama, Cohen also shared his methodology on how he approaches his business and working with artists. “I never signed an act because I was afraid of losing them,” Cohen said. “I only signed an act because I wanted them on my label. Different mentality these days. I never signed an act because … Man, when one act says to me, ‘Oh, man, another label is interested in me,’ I said ‘Go ahead with yourself. I’m not interested in you anymore.”