Music industry legend L.A. Reid spent two decades nurturing the careers of megastar artists like TLC, Toni Braxton and P!nk while at the head of LaFace and Arista records. Though Reid became the label’s chairman of Sony Music’s Epic Record’s back in July, it appears that a few of his most loyal acts, OutKast and Ciara, are now jumping ship at their labels to follow their mentor to Epic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in an effort to revitalize Epic, which has suffered a dearth of hits and superstar acts, Reid is adding OutKast and Ciara, — whom he groomed during their days at LaFace — as well as newer acts like Atlanta rapper Future and current viral video stars, singing duo Karmin, to the label’s roster.
For Ciara and Big Boi, the move would come as no surprise, as both artists have expressed their frustrations with their label, Jive Records, over the last year.
In the summer of 2010, Big Boi told New York Magazine’s The Vulture that Jive refused to clear his Andre 3000 assisted song “Lookin’ For Ya” and shelved his album, before Reid, the then-chairman and CEO of Island Def Jam, swooped in to save the day, moving Big Boi over to Def Jam for a three-album deal and giving his album, Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty, a release date.
In February, while addressing rumors that she had been dropped from Jive for poor album sales, Ciara revealed that she and her label, which Reid originally signed her to, were at odds about her career.
“I pray that my label will release me … it’s at that point where I feel we don’t share the same views on who I am as an artist,” said Ciara.
With a heavy-hitter act like OutKast, an underdog primed for a return to the top in Ciara, and talented newcomers like Future and Karmin, Reid seems ready to restore Epic to its days of eponymous success. –nicholas robinson