*SANTA MONICA, Calif — Gee Roberson, Chairman of Geffen Records, will transition to create and own a full service record company to be distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M, it was announced today by Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO Jimmy Iovine and President and COO John Janick. This move is consistent and in further consolidation of his other highly successful entertainment interests including managerial and artist development company Blueprint Group.
“I’m very happy about the knowledge and experience I gained at Geffen that will be very useful going forward in the future,” said Roberson, noting that Keyshia Cole’s Woman To Woman enjoyed one of 2012’s biggest selling debut weeks for an R&B album. “Now it’s time to go back to my roots, that entrepreneurial spirit, wrap my arms around my own label and fold it into Interscope Geffen A&M. Based on the relationship I already have with Jimmy and everyone at the label, this is a very natural move that’s filled with synergies.”
Added Jimmy Iovine, Chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M: “Gee has an extraordinary entrepreneurial instinct and that spirit has always been an important part of our company. John and I are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with Gee on his latest venture.”
Several artists on the Geffen roster are expected to join Roberson at the New York City-based label, called Blueprint, including but not limited to rapper/producer Hit-Boy and Chicago hardcore rappers LEP Bogus Boys.
Roberson (pictured above) began his music industry career under the tutelage of Jay-Z at Roc-A-Fella Records, where he rose to senior VP of A&R. He later moved to Atlantic Records as senior VP of A&R and headed the label’s urban music division. Meanwhile, in 1998, he co-founded his management company Rock Da World, signing Kanye West as its first artist, followed by Just Blaze. In 2004, the company changed its name to Hip Hop Since 1978. Six years later, Hip Hop Since 1978 merged with Bryant Management, which boasted Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj and T.I. among its clients. Roberson and Cortez Bryant remain co-CEOs of the resulting company, the Blueprint Group. Last year in 2011 he executive produced the top three selling rap albums: Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne and Drake’s Take Care. This year he executive produced the top selling rap album of the year with Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.