Rumors were flying around the Internet earlier today about the demise of indie hip-hop label Definitive Jux. Those rumors have turned out to be false… kind of. A few hours ago, Founder and the face of Def Jux, El-P, released the official word:
This means change for JUX. Of course we’ll still have our website, we will still sell our catalog, merch and more as well as bring you news and updates on all our projects and artists. We will be releasing “KING OF HEARTS”, a DEF JUX remix compilation, a 10 year anniversary retrospective and some other goodies. But then as a traditional record label DEF JUX will effectively be put on hiatus. We are not closing, but we are changing. The process is already underway, and the last several months (for those wondering what the hell we’ve been up to) have been spent dealing with the technical aspects of wrapping up the label in it’s current form and re-imagining our collective and individual futures.
So, it seems Def Jux is the latest label to take a somewhat ambiguous look at the future as a record label, akin to what Touch and Go went through not so long ago. It’s a big hit to the underground hip-hop community, of which Def Jux played an integral role in during the last decade. The label released records from underground heavies such as Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Cannibal Ox, RJD2, Dizzee Rascal and countless others. Alongside Rhymesayers, Def Jux was face of “indie” hip-hop for quite some time. Here’s hoping those associated with the label can carry on with what they do best after the dust settles.