A shell of its former self, Def Jam Recordings is fresh off the loss of another major star, Ne-Yo, who left the only label home he knew for a bigger role with Motown Records. Since the departure of Jay-Z, Def Jam has been on a slow decline. Despite this decline, the label has continued to release music from the remaining artists on the label. However, it seems the bankable stars of the label are leaving the minute their contracts expire.
From the executive office to the artists, Def Jam’s roster appears to be dwindling, but Ludacris has remained on the label, despite rumors of him jumping ship to Universal. Throughout his career, Ludacris has proven to be a smart businessman, along with the rapper who helped establish Def Jam in the South. His DTP label has experienced tremendous success under the Def Jam umbrella, but in recent years, Ludacris has been more focused on his business ventures.
Irv Gotti, a former executive for Def Jam, has been very vocal in the media about Def Jam needing leadership. Gotti praised Jay-Z for how he ran Def Jam, as artists such as Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy, Fabolous, Rick Ross, and Mariah Carey were signed under his watch. However, after Jay-Z left the label, Rick Ross would establish a deal for his own label with rival Warner Bros. Records. While Def Jam has still experienced some success, first with Kanye West signing an exclusive distribution deal for G.O.O.D. Music with the label and 2 Chainz signing a similar deal, Def Jam is not having the success of other labels.
Ludacris had much success during Def Jam’s peak during the early 2000s as both an artist and as a label head. Of all the artists signed to Def Jam, there are few with the business mind of Ludacris. If Def Jam does decide to search for another president of the label, should they look no farther than one of the biggest artists on the label?