August Alsina Calls Def Jam "Trash," Explains Why He Wants Off the Label

"I would love to put my album out but DEF JAM is holding it/me hostage..."
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R&B singer August Alsina is unhappy with Def Jam and in a string of tweets, he has accused the label of leaking his new album.

Wait, no, sorry, that was 2015. 

Nearly two years later, though, the Atlanta product is still unhappy with the only major label home of his career, and in a response to a fan on Twitter who asked him for new music, Alsina threw Def Jam under the bus, claiming they are holding him and his music hostage.

"I would love to put my album out but DEF JAM is holding it/me hostage because the system is not up & running until next year so they basically don't exist," Alsina replied. "The label is just TRASH. I will release free music soon but that has been the hold up. Tell Them to FREE ME & the Album."

August is correct in that the label is currently in a holding pattern, but that has nothing to do with him. In August—the month, not the artist—Eminem's longtime managerand CEO of Goliath Artists Inc., Paul Rosenberg, was named CEO of Def Jam. Since his post isn't effective until January 1, 2018, though, the label decided to scale back their release schedule for the fourth quarter of 2017. As a result, August, as well as several other artists on the Def Jam roster, have projects that are currently in limbo. 

While August's frustrations are understandable, in particular, if he feels like he's sitting on the best material of his career, he might actually benefit from the hold-up. Once Rosenberg takes over the reigns at Def Jam, he could either work with the singer to come up with a marketing and promotional plan for his next full-length work that better meets his expectations or he could grant August his wish and release him from his existing record deal. 

So long as August continues to craft and record great, timeless music, which isn't beholden to a sonic moment in time, one way or the other, there will likely be a resolution.

The last album August Alsina released on Def Jam was 2015's This Thing Called Life. In 2017, he's released four singles: "Drugs," "Wait," "Lonely" and "Don't Matter," though none have cracked the Hot 100.

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