Ruff Ryders Entertainment

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Ruff Ryders Entertainment
Ruff Ryders Logo.jpg
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 1988
Founder Darin Dean
Joaquin "Waah" Dean and Chivon Dean
Status Active
Distributor(s) Fontana Distribution
(In the US)
Universal Music Group
(Outside the US)
Genre Hip hop
Country of origin United States
Location New York City, New York
Official website

Ruff Ryders Entertainment was a record label founded by Joaquin "Waah" Dean and Darin "Dee" Dean and Chivon Dean, uncles and aunt of producer Swizz Beatz.[1] It operated as a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, and was distributed by Fontana Distribution. The label was disbanded in 2010.


Ruff Ryders' founders were initially famous for managing rappers DMX and The Lox who became multi-platinum stars for Def Jam Recordings and Bad Boy Records in the late-1990s. After DMX's success, the management company started its own label imprint through Interscope Records, and had success with releases from female rapper Eve, former Bad Boy Records group The L.O.X. and its main rapper Jadakiss, Drag-On, and newcomer Jin, winner of BET's 106 & Park freestyle MC battle competition. The Deans' nephew Swizz Beatz is the main producer for most of the acts on the roster. In 2000, when DMX accepted an award for the best Rap album at the Billboard Music Awards, the rapper was joined on the stage by his fellow Ruff Ryders' artists.[2] In 2001, Cassidy was signed to the label through Swizz Beatz along with Full Surface labelmate Yung Wun.

As the first Reunion Project since their 2005 Album The Redemption, Vol. 4 Jadakiss and Swizz Beatz invited Drag-On, Eve, Styles P, Sheek Louch and DMX, who had just been released from jail, for the Remix of "Who's Real". A Ruff Ryders Reunion Album was announced by Swizz Beatz and was originally set to release in 2008 but it got pushed back.

In 2010, founders Joaquin and Darin Dean decided to revamp the brand through a new venture known as Ruff Ryders Indy, as a Fontana/Universal affiliated distribution company. This marked the end of Ruff Ryders Entertainment.

In addition to Ruff Ryder Indy, other brands include Ruff Ryders Films,[3] Powerhouse Recording Studios, NatPro, a promotional company, and RR Rescue.


Former artists[edit]

Labels founded by Ruff Ryder artists[edit]






Styles P

Sheek Louch



Ruff Ryders[4]

Swizz Beatz


Yung Wun


  1. ^ Phares, Heather. Biography of Ruff Ryders at AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  2. ^ Simon, Reynolds (March 12, 2000). "Family Values in the Rap Business". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Discography for Ruff Ryders at AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2008.

External links[edit]