Yandy And Rich Rock Their Lenox Avenue Records Style And Talk Business

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Love & Hip Hop stars Yandy Smith and Rich Dollaz joined us in the VH1 offices recently for a little photo shoot and a chat about their new record label, Lenox Avenue Records. As we all know, Yandy is always about getting her checks, so it’s no surprise that her outfit is part of her brand new clothing line, YS by Simply Intricate, just one more business venture that she’s building into her brand empire. Check out our photo gallery with the two music moguls, and keep reading to learn more about their new partnership.

“We’d been discussing doing business together [for a while], whether it was managing or doing something else, and then the label came about,” Rich said of his new business relationship with Yandy. The label, which is being distributed via Warner Brothers, is New York-based, hence the name which represents both of the Harlem natives.

Since Rich was so tight with Olivia, both personally and professionally, we were curious if she was part of the business. “I no longer work with Olivia,” Rich revealed. “She’s not part of Lenox Avenue Records, but we’re actually about to embark on a national search for our first artist. We’re about to go on a search looking for hip hop artists and R&B singers.”

[Photo: Colin Gray for VH1]

“It’s a new model for music, I think,” Rich says, differentiating their label from the rest of the industry. “The world changed in 2006 as far as music is concerned, that’s when MySpace hit, I think people take advantage of social media, now we have Twitter and Instagram and all of that stuff, and music is now about a brand, you have to build a brand. You have to have people buy into you. And I think with our knowledge, especially with the reality shows, TV is the new radio. We’re people who have come up through the reality ranks. So I know people have to buy into you before they buy into your music. That’s why Rihanna’s successful. She’s successful because of her Instagram, her Twitter, as terrible as it was, the fight. All of those things make you who you are. Look at K.Michelle this year. The first season she talked about the domestic abuse, people bought into her story. Now they’re starting to buy into the music. We have a 2014 model for success as opposed to the traditional label model for success.”

“Rich is a genius at picking great records and developing artists,” Yandy says of her co-star. “I’m really good at connecting the dots on the administrative side and making sure the bills are paid and the dollars are made. So I think with this relationship, you guys are in for a great ride.”

“We want to take over,” she says. “Why not? Go hard or go home.”