For the past two years hip-hop veteran LL Cool J has been very vocal, to say the least, about his displeasure in the way Def Jam Records were handling their business.
Well now the Queens legend has appeared to have a change of heart for the label.
With newly appointed Executive Vice President Shakir Stewart overseeing his 13th and final album with Def Jam, 'Exit 13,' LL feels pretty confident about the project's outcome.
"We have a great relationship," Cool J said recently at the '2008 Essence Music Festival.' "I own my catalog and they administrate my catalog, so we're going to always have that relationship moving forward. I feel really good about Shakir [the new president], and I feel really good about L.A. Reid."
He continued, "I think that the world is hearing and seeing more LL Cool J musically in the last six months than you have seen me in the last two and half years. So I think it's pretty obvious that I'm focused and they're focused."
And focused he is.
Over the past few weeks, not only did the 'I Need Love' MC release his new single 'Baby' and, appear on the remixes to Alicia Keys' 'Teenage Love Affair' and G-Unit's 'Straight Outta Southside,' he also released his very first mixtape with New York City DJ, Kay Slay titled 'Return of the G.O.A.T.'From the sound of it, LL may resign with the label, which has been his recording home since 1984.
"As far as resigning, it's not out of the question. But it would have to be some kind of different type of deal," he revealed.
"I don't know what type of deal we do now in this environment. I'm not going to do a ten album deal or three albums. What do I sign? I don't know really how to make the deal. All I know is, I don't mind working with them, and I'm open to the idea. I'm not above it."
As for brokering his own business deals from an executive's chair, LL has no intentions on filling those penny loafers any time soon.
"People always say to me, 'LL why don't you become an executive?' I don't want to," he explained. "There's nothing wrong with being an artist, I love what I do."
"Some people just love being artist, and I'm ok with that. It doesn't mean I don't have good business acumen. It just means that I love being an artist and I'm not ashamed of it."
'Exit 13' is scheduled to hit stores August 26.