On Tuesday (July 11), Issa Rae announced a multi-year deal with Def Jam through her company Raedio.
The new partnership provides a novel approach to traditional music industry practices. As a result, the “audio everywhere” enterprise will have the opportunity to sign, market, and distribute artists through Def Jam‘s network and its affiliates.
“Our mission at Raedio is to continually evolve how and where people discover music and the opportunities for artists behind it,” President Benoni Tagoe shared in a statement. “Def Jam is the perfect partner with a storied legacy to align with Raedio’s mission and vision of disrupting the music industry as we know it. Together, we look forward to expanding our reach and fostering a creative home for our new artists.”
Additionally, the arrangement allows signees to explore opportunities in film, television production, and talent management through Hoorae Media, which the company is part of.
Echoing this sentiment, CEO and Chairman of Def Jam Tunji Balogun, expressed high regard for the actress, emphasizing her unwavering passion for genuine storytelling and artistry that places Black creators at the center of an expansive universe, resonating deeply with her audience.
He stated, “Her passion for artistry and authentic storytelling puts Black creators and creatives at the center of an expansive world, where they resonate deeply with her audience. Raedio exemplifies Issa’s savvy, strategic and forward-thinking approach to building culture and community, aligning all of her verticals into one powerful audio ecosystem.”
The deal complements Rae’s other creative projects, including the recently announced return of her hit show “Rap Sh!t” for a second season on MAX. The season will begin on Aug. 10 with two new episodes and continue with weekly releases of six additional episodes. The series follows the success of “Insecure,” which concluded in 2021 after five seasons.
General Manager Christina “Xtina” Prince also expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “This partnership is exactly what we needed to expand and continue our mission to be a vessel and impactful resource for artists across the globe. I am thrilled to join forces with Tunji, Latrice, and some of the brightest executives in the business at Def Jam at what is, clearly, an exciting time for both Def Jam and Raedio.”
This trailblazing venture marks Raedio’s departure from its previous label partner, Atlantic Records, which was announced in 2019. A new chapter in the company’s trajectory began last year when it struck a multi-project development deal with Audible to create original content.
In other news, media personalities Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell also licensed their podcast “The Scottie & Sylvia Show” to Raedio. The first two episodes debuted on July 6 with new installments slated to come out in the forthcoming weeks.