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Def Jam Confirms LL Cool J's Departure

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

December 15, 2000 12:00 AM ET

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 Y2G.com 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."

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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