As it currently stands, the members of the Ruff Ryders are all over the place. This has been the case for some time. Many would assume that the Ruff Ryders were created in the late 1990s, but the truth is that the label began in 1988 as a management company. It was not until they began working with DMX that they became a record label. They helped him sign with Def Jam, while they had a deal with Interscope Records.
During their time with Interscope, the label signed The L.O.X., Eve, and Drag-On. Aside from that, a group was created that consisted of all of the signed artists to the label. That group was named after the label and the company, Ruff Ryders. While the above artists are signed to the label through Interscope, as is the group, there are other artists who are signed to many other deals. Dating back to the 1990s, Swizz Beatz has been in charge of the label.
While most label heads try to land an exclusive distribution deal with one label, Swizz Beatz would rather suit the tastes of all of his artists. Not only does he run the Ruff Ryders label, but he also runs another label, Full Surface. Aside from his executive duties, Swizz Beatz is also one of the top producers in hip hop. Right now, he has a full plate with every one of his associates trying to release an album before the end of this year. His philosophy of suiting every artist has come back to bite him.
Not only does Swizz Beatz work with the artists that are signed to Ruff Ryders and Full Surface, but he also works with artists on their own record labels. With so much on his plate, he has decided to reorganize the company. Right now, he has two artists who do not have a distribution deal in DMX and Eve. As the most-notable names on the label, they need a place to call home, so he is hoping to get them both signed to the same label.
Because of his jammed schedule, Swizz Beatz is in danger of losing The L.O.X., which consists of Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch, to Bad Boy Records. As a group, they run a record label of their own with a full stable of artists. They are signed to Ruff Ryders through Interscope and a joint venture deal with Bad Boy. After the release of their next album, The L.O.X. are free to move on to another label. The way it is looking, they may choose Bad Boy.
With all of the work that Swizz Beatz has been putting in with these artists, he deserves a larger portion of the profits. Despite what he deserves, as a producer, he is only receiving a small portion of profits of the projects that he is working on. But, if he served as the producer and the head of these artist’ record label, his profits would increase by a lot more. After he is done working on side projects, such as his work with Memphis Bleek and Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz plans to organize his projects.
After years of running Full Surface much like he runs Ruff Ryders, Swizz Beatz plans to place the label under Ruff Ryders to have it exclusively distributed by Ruff Ryders. All of the artists on Full Surface will eventually be moved over to Ruff Ryders. He will also move his production work under a Ruff Ryders’ umbrella and the Ruff Ryders Indy branch will remain so that they could take on a bigger portion of profits.
Swizz Beatz has plans of offering deals to all of his artists who run their own labels. He hopes to have all of their labels distributed exclusively by Ruff Ryders, and then he will find a solid distribution deal for the label. For years, the label has had a strong relationship with Interscope, but the label has had a running relationship with Def Jam. In addition to the relationships with those labels, Swizz Beatz has maintained a close relationship to both Universal Motown and Columbia Records.
With everything so hectic, Swizz Beatz has plans of organizing the Ruff Ryders into one big label. The question is if everything will fall into place.