Steve Rifkind Music mogul Steve Rifkind is back with a NEW Loud Records! After releasing major hip-hop acts such as Wu-Tang Clan, Twista, Big Pun, Lil’ Flip, and Tha Alkohaliks, Steve is now working on a new vision for the next level of hip-hop. Check out this exclusive interview as he tells you how he is about to change the game!
interview by Will Hernandez
WHO?MAG: What’s new for Steve Rifkind? STEVE RIFKIND: We just signed Wu Tang Clan. We just got the Loud name back and we’re starting a company called Loud.com which we’re going to have a game called battlerap which is going to be some unsigned emcees going head to head against each other on the internet. The winner of contest gets a record deal through us plus a $100,000 in cash. We also got a kids TV show that I’m partner with the Trackmasters on called Kids Block which is a Sesame Street teaching kids education and how to learn through music.
WHO?MAG: How did you get Wu Tang Clan to sign again with you? STEVE RIFKIND: That was all RZA. We just had a conversation and he said that he would love to do just one more record. He spoke to the guy and the guys were for it, just like the old days. How we did it back then.
WHO?MAG: Do you plan to reach out to any other artists that were on Loud in the past? STEVE RIFKIND: Just Wu Tang. I’ve been having discussions with Prodigy and Havoc. That was mostly with Havoc doing something on the production side. Being that they’re still signed to Interscope, I can’t do anything.
WHO?MAG: How did you start Loud records? STEVE RIFKIND: Loud was a spin off of the Steven Rifkind Company which was the marketing company, the first one to establish street teams. We were promoting everybody’s records. My friend said you should have your own label. I didn’t really want to have my own label because I didn’t want to pressure. Then I sat down with my father and he said, “Since you’re in the service business, you’re in the asset business”. He explained by owning your own masters you’re in the asset business. That’ll help quantify your assets. That’s how I started Loud.
WHO?MAG: Who was the first artist you had signed to Loud? STEVE RIFKIND: Twista.
WHO?MAG: How did you get with Wu Tang back in the days? STEVE RIFKIND: Through my street team. My rep in Detroit called one of my PR guys in my LA office about this one record. I was living in LA full time. I flew into New York for my birthday actually. RZA just showed up at my door and we did the deal right then and there.
WHO?MAG: What’s your opinion on new technology such as downloading and Ipods? STEVE RIFKIND: You still got to make a great record. The music business right now is going back into the single’s business, which is fine if you do it right you can keep your marketing costs down. You bring in different partners. The record business to me is in a very exciting time. It’s an open playing field. You can start setting your own rules again.
WHO?MAG: Why did Loud fold back in 2001? STEVE RIFKIND: The shoe didn’t fit. We didn’t get along with Sony.