Def Jam Confirms LL Cool J's Departure

Rap label calls Cool J one of his generation's most important artists

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Responding to LL Cool J's announcement that he is leaving Def Jam Records after fifteen years, the label's president Lyor Cohen said yesterday, "It is true that LL Cool J is coming to the end of his contract with Def Jam. With one more album left to deliver, it is Def Jam's intent to deliver LL's next release."

LL Cool J broke the news during an interview with Web site saying, "It's not any bad blood. It's not negative. It's not like I hate them or they hate me. We did what we did for a very long time . . . You gotta grow."

Cohen echoed LL's sentiments calling him "one of the most important artists of his generation. He created a valuable brand in himself, catapulted Def Jam into the finest urban brand and proved once and for all rappers can have sustainable careers. I deeply appreciate his tenacity and artistic creativity. I wish LL success and happiness as he continues his journey, wherever that may be."