L.A. Reid on Puff Daddy: 'He Knows How to Spot Talent, and He Just Brings the Party'

L.A. Reid on Puff Daddy: 'He Knows How to Spot Talent, and He Just Brings the Party'

The Epic Records CEO discusses his history with Puff.

Published October 16, 2015

If you don’t know the significance of L.A. Reid and his contributions to the culture, this interview on the Rap Radar Podcast is a great history lesson.

The Epic Records CEO sat down with Elliott Wilson and Brian Miller for a rare conversation about the success of Future, the formation of LaFace Records, working with Jay Z at Def Jam, appearing on Rick Ross’s “Maybach Music IV” and many more topics.

Recently, L.A. Reid and Puff Daddy inked an exclusive partnership with Bad Boy Records that’ll include new artist signings and several projects to be released down the line. Their relationship goes pretty far back, and he opened up about meeting Puff for a job after he got fired as an A&R at Uptown Records by Andre Harrell.

“He started to give me his vision for Bad Boy. I thought I was getting a guy that might be my A&R guy,” he said. “That’s what I thought when I sat down. A few minutes into it, I realized I was sitting with a real genius.”

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He continued, “We are really lucky that Puffy is multi-faceted, because if he were purely a record man, he’d be better than all of us. He’s so good at it. He’s got the best taste. He knows how to spot talent, and he just brings the party. The party follows him. He’s incredible, so I’m happy to be back in business with him.”

On the topic of Bobby Shmurda, who is currently incarcerated for gun and drug charges, L.A. had nothing but good things to say about him.

“I’m crazy about that kid, and I think about him often,” he said. “I feel like his better days are ahead of him. I do believe that. I think it’s unfortunate what has taken place, but when I heard him I believed him. That’s what sold me. It felt soulful. It didn’t feel like someone was play acting. It felt really believable and I guess it was.”

Epic Records was criticized by Shmurda fans for not posting his bail. Reid's answer was pretty spot-on and showed that the music industry is a lot different than before.

“People don’t know anything about my business, right? It’s really not their business. That’s the truth about it. We’re not elected officials here. And we’re not at liberty to disclose how we do business. It’s fair practice, I can tell you that. But, it’s not the industry that it once was. We seriously don’t make the money we used to make. That’s a fact of life, right?”

"Bobby Shmurda is not the same as Snoop Dogg and Murder Was the Case, who’s coming off The Chronic and his first album. It’s a different era, you know? And we’re a publicly held corporation. We just aren’t in the same position we were in back in those days. So, it’s a different day.”

Head over here to listen to the whole interview.

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(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Written by Eric Diep

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