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You can call Lyor Cohen by his official title: Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group. Or you can simply call him “the check writer.” Starting in the ’80s as Run-DMC’s road manager, the now 50-year-old American-born “tall Israeli” has become hip-hop’s industry standard, having helped build Island Def Jam into a juggernaut by signing acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Slick Rick, EPMD, and Ja Rule. In 2004, he moved over to Warner and has continued molding stars, including T.I., Trey Songz, and Lupe Fiasco. Cohen recently sat with us to discuss why his son doesn’t like talking rap with him, his disappointment over not signing Drake, and the reason he doesn’t see much of himself in today’s young music executives.

Read the full interview over @ Complex.

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