Geffen Cancels Distribution Pact With Controversial Def American

Geffen Records officially terminated its manufacturing and distributing deal Monday with Def American Recordings, the Los Angeles-based company whose roster includes such controversial acts as comedian Andrew Dice Clay, rap group the Geto Boys and hard-rock band Slayer.

“We find ourselves increasingly at odds with Def American’s creative philosophy,” said Geffen spokeswoman Bryn Bridenthal.

“Because we believe both in artistic freedom and the freedom to choose the direction of our company, we felt it would be most constructive to encourage (Def American owner) Rick Rubin to find a manufacturer/distributor with a greater affinity for the direction of his label.”

The break came following Geffen’s decision last month not to release a Def American album by the Geto Boys, branding as offensive the Houston group’s raps, which sometimes mix brutal imagery and explicit sexual references.


Rubin was unavailable for comment Monday, but he said earlier that he was contractually free from Geffen after the label refused to handle the Geto Boys record and that the album would be released through the Warner/Elektra/Atlantic distribution group.

Rubin’s announcement stirred speculation that WEA--which also, ironically, distributes Geffen Records--would soon take over distribution of all Def American releases.