At a time when Hip-Hop continues to move like a freight train, especially for Epic Records, L.A. Reid’s departure leaves a hole at Sony that will be difficult to fill. Reid brought in Future, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Travi$ Scott, and Diddy’s Bad Boy Record imprint, amongst others. “I’m the One” by DJ Khaled is currently No. 1 on the Hot 100 right now.
Since 2011, Reid has signed Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, and Mariah Carey. He also landed a No. 1 album with Tribe Called Quest in the past year–a rap legacy act that had not made an album in over a decade.
L.A. Reid’s exit has shocked the industry, with no true explanation given. However, one answer could be the recent shake-up at Sony that made Rob Stringer the new chief. Corporate restructuring is nothing new to the business world today, and Sony Music did issue a seven word statement, stating, ““L.A. Reid will be leaving the company.”
Reid made a name for himself in the 1980’s as a member of the R&B band The Deele. He and his production partner at the time, Babyface, went on to score a string of multi-platinum hits throughout the late 80s and 90s. During that period they launched LaFace Records, which was joint venture with Arista Records, and home to Usher, OutKast, Goodie Mob, Toni Braxton, and TLC, to name a few. During the 2000s, Reid held successful Chief Executive Officer posts with Arista Records and subsequently Def Jam Recordings.
In 2011, he joined the X factor as a judge and regrets it to the day. He said, “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done.” Shortly after, he became CEO of Epic Records.