XXL presents Inside Tracka biweekly podcast that shines the spotlight on some of hip-hop's most influential industry executives, entrepreneurs and more. Hosted by XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten and music executive Courtney "Courtney CL" Lowery, each episode will explore hip-hop through the eyes of people who have lived and breathed the culture.

The inaugural episode features hip-hop industry veteran and current CEO and cofounder of 300 Elektra EntertainmentKevin Liles. The Baltimore native's hip-hop ties run deep. From 1999 to 2004, he served as the President of Def Jam Recordings and Executive Vice President of Island Def Jam Music Group. He later served as Executive Vice President of Warner Music Group. In 2012, he cofounded 300 Entertainment with Lyor Cohen, Roger Gold and Todd Moscowitz. The imprint has grown into a powerhouse with a roster that has included Young Thug, GunnaYNW Melly, Fetty Wap, Tee Grizzley and others.

Liles has seen it all and been through it all, and therefore has an all-encompassing perspective on the rap game. He has been an opponent of lyrics being used against rappers, launching a petition against the legal tactic in 2022.

"Our culture is under attack. This is not the first time, it won't be the last time," he says during the interview below. "It's a way to try and control who we are and what we are."

Liles also touches on his close relationship with Young Thug—300 Entertainment is the distributor for Thug's Young Stoner Life Records—as well as Gunna. As an insider to the situation, he opines about the oft-speculated condition of the rappers' friendship.

"You should never speak on two other men's business," Liles says of speculation about the status of Gunna and Thug's relationship after Gunna took a plea deal in the YSL RICO case. "All I can tell you is that [Gunna] was in there for nothing. I'm sure they will have an opportunity to talk and figure it out whatever way they want to figure it out. [On] The Gift & The Curse, you heard him struggle, you heard with 'Bittersweet.' 'It's OK, but not without my man.'"

Liles also discusses the state of hip-hop, 300's new signee Hunxho and more.

Watch or listen to the debut episode of XXL's Inside Track podcast below. The podcast can be found on xxlmag.com, XXL’s YouTube page and on most podcast platforms: Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Watch XXL's Inside Track Podcast With Kevin Liles

See 26 Bizarre Moments in the YSL RICO Trial

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