[M]usic mogul David Geffen just dropped a $100 million gift to New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Art. And, over the years, he’s profited abundantly from Hip-Hop music.
David Geffen may not look like the usual Hip-Hop head, but the 72-year-old mogul is weaved into the fabric of the genre, for better or for worse, depending on one’s political viewpoint. Geffen, which launched in 1980, is currently owned by Universal and is headed up by veteran manager Gee Roberson.
Over the years, Geffen and subsidiary’s like DGC and later Interscope Geffen A&M, released music from artists like Common, GZA, Snoop Dogg, Game, Mary J. Blige, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and others. There was a time when the label was not so Hip-Hop friendly. Way back in 1990, The Geto Boys were front page news, thanks to their self-titled debut album.
|The Geto Boys were the subject of international controversy over their debut album Geto Boys. Geffen dropped the album. And the label’s founder David Geffen just dropped $100 million to New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.|
The album explored taboo topics like rape, drug dealing, and murder. The Geto Boys, who were signed to Rick Rubin’s Def American label, gained national exposure when Geffen refused to distribute the group’s debut, due to political pressure.
During the same period, the 2 Live Crew was battling obscenity charges in Florida.
The Geto Boys album was finally released on Warner Bros. The marketing for the album was done by Giant Records, whose founder, Irving Azoff, went on to head up Live Nation.
“I just wish they understood I am proud of this piece of art, and that’s a valid reason to put it out, regardless of what they think of this record,” Rick Rubin told Spin in a November, 1990 interview.
“I hope they all die with their dicks up their asses,” group member Bushwick Bill commented in the same interview.
Rick Rubin’s view was correct now that Geto Boys’ self-titled debut is considered a Hip-Hop classic. As of press time, it is not clear if Geto Boys group member Bushwick Bill has changed his stance on the controversy. What is clear, is David Geffen has lots of money to throw around, thanks to his many music, film, and television productions, as well as his investment in Hip-Hop: