Foundation: Lyor Cohen, Russell Simmons & Kevin Liles (XXL Feature)

def-jam-execs-feat

XXL just posted an excerpt from the November issue, out now.
Photography by Jonathan Mannion.

Simmons: I could talk about Lyor better than he can. He’s so nice, he might not say it. He was so in love with the music and worked so hard for the artists. He made a lot of money with Run-DMC and then lost all his money on Whodini. He came from a wealthy family but stayed in a raggedy hotel room… He worked for no money for a long time. He was Andre [Harrell’s] secretary. Andre shit on him.
Cohen: No, excuse me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Simmons: I do. Andre had Lyor working hard as hell.
Cohen: I didn’t even know Andre at that time.
Simmons: Andre was the vice president of Rush.
Cohen: Wrong.
Simmons: And Lyor came in.
Cohen: Wrong, wrong. You have a really bad memory… I’m going to tell you how Lyor Cohen was invented… When I came to New York, Run-DMC was at the airport, going to London…and no one had a passport… I went straight to the airport with my passport, and since they saw me from that show before, they were kind of gracious with me. There were some terrible things on that trip that I solved, and after that they asked me to be their road manager. That allowed me to get off the floor at that welfare hotel. It also gave me some sort of credibility, because I was sort of goofy—I didn’t look the part… That’s how that happened.
Are they always like this, Kevin?
Kevin Liles: Always. It’s usually worse.
You guys have this good-cop, bad-cop routine down pat.
Cohen: He is such a puss. He would never fire nobody.
Simmons: I’m a screamer.
Cohen: He has a reputation of never firing anyone and bludgeoning them to death and hoping that they would just understand.
Simmons: I have difficulty firing people. Sometimes Lyor would be the bad guy and I would be the nice guy. People would be like, “That nasty muthafucka Lyor.”
Do you have to be nasty to succeed at this job?
Cohen: Not at all. You don’t have to be nasty. We were never really nasty. We were determined to survive.
Simmons: Kevin Liles can fire people and be their best friend on their way out. “This is what the company has to have. I’m sorry, you’re not performing, and you have to go home.”
That’s not being mean. That’s being honest.

Continue reading @ XXLmag.com


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70 Responses to “Foundation: Lyor Cohen, Russell Simmons & Kevin Liles (XXL Feature)”

  1. Rey Says:

    LOL @ the track list to one of soulja boy’s mixtapes (track listing courtesy of Rap Radar):

    Track 3- “I Look Good”
    Track 8- “Gettin’ Money”
    Track 9- “So Cocky Wit It”
    Track 10- “Been Had Swag”
    Track 11- “Swag Flu” (note– Shaq Fu > Swag Flu)
    Track 12- “Soulja Boy!!”
    Track 16- “Smokin’ Dat Piff” (note– Obviously)
    Track 17- “I’m All That”

    Clearly, Soulja Boy (what’s this fool’s real name?) is broadening his horizons. I mean, seriously, those titles are pathetic. You shouldn’t be able to know EXACTLY what the song is about by the title. And the south continues losing.

  2. FUPM618 Says:

    Lyor had Prof Griff kicked out of P.E

  3. Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:

    And the south continues losing.

    ——————————

    yeah, cuz we all know NY stay winning.

  4. Geronimo P Says:

    So Did Sean P’s latest mixtape drop???

  5. Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:

    *daps Rey,FUPM618*

  6. Rey Says:

    # Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    And the south continues losing.

    ——————————

    yeah, cuz we all know NY stay winning.

    ^^^

    lol.. I had to.

  7. Rey Says:

    *daps*

  8. b-ease Says:

    Track 3- “I Look Good”
    Track 8- “Gettin’ Money”
    Track 9- “So Cocky Wit It”
    Track 10- “Been Had Swag”
    Track 11- “Swag Flu” (note– Shaq Fu > Swag Flu)
    Track 12- “Soulja Boy!!”
    Track 16- “Smokin’ Dat Piff” (note– Obviously)
    Track 17- “I’m All That”

    ^^
    Hilarious.

    I bet all them shits knock though.

  9. D_Block_4_Life aka heat the track up Like Adobo/Sazon/SOFRITO Says:

    So Did Sean P’s latest mixtape drop???
    ^
    Yep

  10. Beezy Says:

    soulja real name = DeAndre Cortez Way

  11. Beezy Says:

    D_Block’s real name = George Gooney

  12. b-ease Says:

    I never had a real problem with Soulja Boy simply because at the basest level, he truly is what hiphop is all about. Barely an adult, making songs in the basement, moving them in your hood, and getting on. He followed the blueprint, and it worked for him.

  13. D_Block_4_Life aka heat the track up Like Adobo/Sazon/SOFRITO Says:

    I don’t know if anyone really cares but that nigga casketface really left for good. I mean it took a few false alarms but he just couldn’t take it anymore and boogied for good.

  14. Rey Says:

    @ B-Ease– I won’t front, Turn My Swag On is awesome (jeezy’s version >>), and Kiss Me Thru The Phone was a guilty pleasure–reminded me of high school, exchanging beeper messages, 143′s and 381′s and whatnot.

  15. Beezy Says:

    I don’t know if anyone really cares but that nigga casketface really left for good. I mean it took a few false alarms but he just couldn’t take it anymore and boogied for good.

    ^i dont buy it…he’s commenting under a more subdued persona and name

    remixnflow maybe..he’s a newbie

  16. Beezy Says:

    143’s

    ^rey pagin mad bitches like 143 143 911 911

  17. Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:

    I don’t know if anyone really cares but that nigga casketface really left for good. I mean it took a few false alarms but he just couldn’t take it anymore and boogied for good.

    ———-

    don’t even speak fam (see what i did there) up

    his comments were painful to read

    in fact, he was the gucci mane of comments as far as ignorance is concerned

  18. cOLD Says:

    I don’t know if anyone really cares but that nigga casketface really left for good. I mean it took a few false alarms but he just couldn’t take it anymore and boogied for good.

    ^ what was his website again?

  19. b-ease Says:

    ^i dont buy it…he’s commenting under a more subdued persona and name

    ^^
    This.

  20. Beezy Says:

    salmon corn chowder >

  21. cOLD Says:

    his comments were painful to read

    he was funny at times, word to Fams

  22. Geronimo P Says:

    Is there a link for that Kimbo Price shit…

    I’m happy to be making more money, but this promotion has sucked all of the fun out of surfing the net at this job…

    I may have to become a part of the night crew just to stay up to date.

  23. cOLD Says:

    remixnflow maybe..he’s a newbie

    *roffs, still thinks Amp is Casket*

  24. Beezy Says:

    casket face was funny at time…his self promotion and general bragadocio was annoying tho

  25. Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:

    remixnflow maybe..he’s a newbie

    ——-

    nah dude actually makes sense

    casket was like a whirlwind of incoherence and broken English

  26. b-ease Says:

    Turn My Swag On is awesome (jeezy’s version >>)

    ^^
    Pretty much.

  27. Beezy Says:

    as far as i can tell the night crew doesn’t exist anymore

    anytime i come on after like 6, which isn’t much, the names are like foreign languages to me

  28. Rey Says:

    # b-ease Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I never had a real problem with Soulja Boy simply because at the basest level, he truly is what hiphop is all about. Barely an adult, making songs in the basement, moving them in your hood, and getting on. He followed the blueprint, and it worked for him.

    ^^^

    That’s true.

  29. Beezy Says:

    casket’s spelling was unintentional humor at its finest

  30. b-ease Says:

    casket was like a whirlwind of incoherence and broken English

    ^^
    I think you’re getting him confused with that foreign guy that uses a translator, stans for every artist, and references albums that dont exist. Seth Gueko, no Al Pernidino or some shit.

  31. Beezy Says:

    cOLD = jerzey*made*me

    B-Ease = Phuque

    D_Block = Jimmy Valentime

  32. Plug Says:

    @ rey

    soulja boys last cd >>>> Ghost’s last cd

  33. cOLD Says:

    casket was like a whirlwind of incoherence and broken English

    ^ he did have an air of inteligence about him, sorta like hoots.

  34. Rey Says:

    # Beezy Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    143’s

    ^rey pagin mad bitches like 143 143 911 911

    ^^^

    lol.. We bit the Stonecutter’s episode of the simpsons.. “The real number is 9-1…2.”, so if it was an emergency it was 912, 911 (no former nahgger) was just the regular call.

  35. b-ease Says:

    anytime i come on after like 6, which isn’t much, the names are like foreign languages to me

    ^^
    That’s where Rick the Intern’s faggot ass hangs out.

    Once EngRep got bagged by his bosses (no Billz/Dblock) the nite shift died a quick painless death.

  36. Beezy Says:

    Seth Gueko, no Al Pernidino or some shit.

    ^yo swear for God he is a French rapper with 12 albums out

    fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seth_Gueko

  37. b-ease Says:

    D_Block = Jimmy Valentime

    ^^
    And…*dead*

  38. cOLD Says:

    B-Ease = Phuque

    ^THIS.

  39. Beezy Says:

    from a pure comedy standpoint, Hoots is running this shit

    the shit he types consistently cracks me the fuck up

  40. b-ease Says:

    ^yo swear for God he is a French rapper with 12 albums out

    fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seth_Gueko

    ^^
    I’m out. (c) George

  41. Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:

    I think you’re getting him confused with that foreign guy that uses a translator, stans for every artist, and references albums that dont exist. Seth Gueko, no Al Pernidino or some shit.
    ————————–

    nah, but his comments are painful to read as well

    homie’s comments read as if English is his 12th language

    no shots at foreigners overcoming language barriers to stan for shitty artists on nah

  42. Plug Says:

    I never had a real problem with Soulja Boy simply because at the basest level, he truly is what hiphop is all about. Barely an adult, making songs in the basement, moving them in your hood, and getting on. He followed the blueprint, and it worked for him.
    ———–
    exactly. like 50 said. dude was 16 what else is he sposed to talk about

  43. catch22 Says:

    tall isrealis are running this rap shit

    *daps the nah regulars*

  44. Rey Says:

    @ Plug– Heh, more beats like Turn My Swag On and I could give a fuck that the boy can’t rap.

    ~~~

    # Beezy Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    cOLD = jerzey*made*me

    B-Ease = Phuque

    D_Block = Jimmy Valentime

    ^^^

    cOLD has always been cold.

    B-Ease and Phuque (that turncoat) have 2 different styles.

  45. Geronimo P Says:

    anytime i come on after like 6, which isn’t much, the names are like foreign languages to me

    ^^
    That’s where Rick the Intern’s faggot ass hangs out.

    Once EngRep got bagged by his bosses (no Billz/Dblock) the nite shift died a quick painless death.

    ^Damn…

  46. b-ease Says:

    from a pure comedy standpoint, Hoots is running this shit

    the shit he types consistently cracks me the fuck up

    ^^
    Ever since he made that one comment like two months ago about niggas in the hood begging for passes, and him granting them nonchalantly, he’s been on fire, no homo/NBA Jam.

    Amp getting mad at him just adds to it.

  47. Beezy Says:

    yeah, your right Bernard…for awhile Hoots was kinda boring, but he has been on fire lately

    the funniest is when he’s on here at like 8am.

    its 5am out in Cali where he is.

    WTF is he doing up and ocmmenting?

  48. SNORT_SNORTCRAZY88SINCE88 Says:

    _________________________________________DoDoBrown!

  49. Plug Says:

    Once EngRep got bagged by his bosses (no Billz/Dblock) the nite shift died a quick painless death.
    ———
    I aint seen engrep in a minute. last I heard from him he was tellina story on how his brother was in austrailia wit his boy and they smashed some trannys b mistake. that story had me laughing and heaving at the same time[ll]

  50. Beezy Says:

    his soliliquies about hanging out on leer jets and country clubs with elderly white men put me in tears

  51. Beezy Says:

    Seth Gueko, de son vrai nom Nicolas Salvadori, né le 27 octobre 1980 (29 ans), est un rappeur français d’origine russo-sicilienne originaire de Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône, commune de l’agglomération de Cergy-Pontoise dans le Val-d’Oise.

  52. SNORT_SNORTCRAZY88SINCE88 Says:

    Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  53. Plug Says:

    what yall know about eskay and nation having differnt aliases… and I know what they are…

  54. Geronimo P Says:

    The funniest shit was one of his last days here when he was trying to shit on niggas talking about they cant spell and just so happened to mispell something in his post. The rest of the day was spent purposefully mispelling words. Classic

  55. 456 Says:

    B-Ease = Phuque

    ^phuque was more emotional

  56. Beezy Says:

    2008 : Drive by en caravane

    ^this is my fav Seth Gueko album

  57. Ghost Writer Says:

    *smoking*

  58. Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:

    *smoking*

    ———

    pass the dutch

    speaking of, question for you nahggers

    swishers or garcia y vegas?

  59. catch22 Says:

    misspell > mispell

  60. 456 Says:

    Once EngRep got bagged by his bosses (no Billz/Dblock) the nite shift died a quick painless death.

    ^the funniest niggas on nahright ever

    coon
    biggums killa
    feces

  61. KzA Says:

    dutchmasters.

  62. Beezy Says:

    swishers or garcia y vegas?

    ^neither

  63. 456 Says:

    vanilla dutches, backwoods or cohibas.

  64. TheCo!!inB Says:

    the crazy shit about hoots is in the nigga comments on everything from a first person basis. The nigga has been in LA, Philly, New York, Detroit, Italy, Batswana, Miami, Iran, Africa, Atlanta…..just name it. The nigga is like Carmen San Diego.
    By far the funniest shit he said was when he told one of the commenters from Africa to go paint three stripes on his face and hunt a lion….I’m not lying when I say I was crying.

  65. Super Tone Says:

    i’m an East Coast niggas that lives in the south now but let me some up Soulja Boy for ya…homey is for the kids…. plain and simple…he ain’t about grown man shit…yet, nor is he a gangsta, pimp etc..he’s in a lane that ain’t been driven in since the late 80′s and early 90′s….he got no one in front of him, Kid & Play and all them dance type niggas behind him…he’s doing his thing, getting his money and needs to realize in no shape, form or fashion is he in the running as being one of the TOP 10 mc’s or the GOAT….PSA OVER….

  66. Super Tone Says:

    and dont let him represent the whole south cause he don’t…he just a small percentange of it…

  67. Super Tone Says:

    456 Says:

    October 29th, 2009 at 1:58 pm
    vanilla dutches, backwoods or cohibas

    cosign 456…a nigga once put me on to some Optimo cigars…yea the leafy shit..if you skilled enough that shit can do the trick….

  68. lea Says:

    Rey Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    # Chief Ali aka The One Who Stay Building Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    And the south continues losing.

    ^^^^^
    i was thinking of something to say being from the south, but cant think of anything accept dont let him be the model of what you consider “the South” him nor Ross. keep TI, Trick, Goodie, Outkast and that pedigree as a visual when you think of the south. as long as Soulja makes the money he makes no one in his camp is gonna tell him to smarten up

  69. lea Says:

    oh yeah LOVE Russell and Lyor!!!

  70. chronwell Says:

    @Super Tone,
    Your analysis on Soulja Boy is very truth-based and its very possible.
    There are different markets in American hiphop, like most SB supporters couldnt give a damn bout a Phonte or a Elzhi. As for Optimos they burn slow but I dont fuck wit em no more!

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