IndustryPlug Exclusive: Steve Rifkind Defines ADD52 Pt. 1

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After decades in the music business, Steve Rifkind has managed to successfully leave his footprint on the industry as he continues to evolve as a businessman and a revolutionary of all things HOT. It’s not always easy to stay relevant and it’s rare that one has the foresight to be able to see into the future, but that’s exactly what Rifkind has done alongside his longtime friend and business partner, Russell Simmons.

Recently the duo revealed ADD52 to the world in an effort to find the next big star in music and co-founder Steve Rifkind was gracious enough to speak with about their vision for ADD52, where the music industry is going next and how to stay relevant in a constantly evolving business.


Here are five important facts that you should know about ADD52:

1. Everybody Thought That ADD52 Was a Crazy Idea

ADD52 creation was really an idea that I had a few years ago when I still had SRC. Whereas I was getting older and I realized that I wasn’t traveling as much and not even going out as much… I would love to put out a single a week. Most of my biggest artists in my career have always come from a singles field—Wu Tang, Mobb Deep… started as a single deal and went to a record deal when I heard the other music. So I brought it up to Universal when I was still there, and they said they wouldn’t do it—it was too much work and it really wouldn’t fit anything. So when me and Russell decided to go back into the music business, I said “this is the first thing I want to do.” Everybody thought I was crazy and we pitched it to Samsung and they have been an amazing partner with us on this.

2. Why Samsung Was the Best Partner For ADD52

I feel that music dictates all trends. From fashion to sports, and they want to go after Apple and they’re going after Apple in the smartest way possible. They’re attacking music and they’re attacking sports, and they’re attacking what is probably the hottest sport in America right now which is basketball. So, when you have a deal with LeBron James who is the best guy in basketball for the last 10 years, they’re doing all the right things and they’re pressing all the right buttons. 

3. ADD52 Isn’t Just About Finding Onstage Talent

To me it’s not even about testing the waters. To me it’s more about finding that “next one.” And it can be in all different aspects. It can be that next emcee, it can be a singer, but it can also be a songwriter or a producer.

4. Steve Rifkind On Second Guessing His Instinct and Staying Fresh

You always second guess yourself and whether it’s the right decision, but I do everything on instinct.  How I move—I have three young kids. My youngest son found me Spoken Reasons and he found me two other artists, so I stay relevant that way. I know everything that’s going on. I have a 19-year-old son who’s a basketball player and I have a 13-year-old daughter who is really into music. My two youngest are giving me info about what’s going on and it’s pretty exciting.

5. Multiplatform Channels Are What’s Next, TV Is Out

I mean, I don’t know who’s really watching TV anymore. Everything is on your phone, your iPad or your computer.


Keep it locked here to and get more gems dropped by Steve Rifkind this Wednesday!




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  1. Jennifer Rickens

    July 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Great interview! Looking fwd to part 2!! Love the site by the way!!

  2. Jay Thompson

    July 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Pretty cool. Hopefully these guys can revive the music industry.

  3. Pingback: IndustryPlug Exclusive: Steve Rifkind Defines ADD52 Pt. 2 – IndustryPlug

  4. Francisco

    November 25, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Happy/sad song .lots of emotional contnet. You don’t know what you are missing til they are gone right? Still working on those tears of joy .

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