It's a sign of the times when prominent record labels are saying goodbye to the same employees who worked the campaigns of some of today's most popular rappers and singers. Def Jam, a storied entity in the hip-hop landscape, recently downsized, laying off more than 20 employees.

According to All Hip Hop, over 20 staff members and music industry executives like Chris Hicks and Jonathan McHugh were given their walking papers. However, both Hicks and McHugh will reportedly perform consulting work for Island Def Jam/Motown -- home to stars like Rihanna, Young Jeezy, Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Ne-Yo -- among other companies.

News of the layoffs may be somber but Island Def Jam and Universal Republic are celebrating the addition of a new A&R to the team: Bruno Mars' manager Brandon Creed.

"As we continue to expand our creative investments, Brandon is a perfect fit," said Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Republic. "Besides being a great artists' manager, he is also a talented A&R and creative executive. We plan to get him very involved across our labels at Island Def Jam Motown and Universal Republic."

Besides leading Mars' career, Creed is responsible for handling the Smeezingtons' business dealings. The Smeezingtons, a production and songwriting team made up of Mars, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, have crafted songs for the likes of Flo Rida ('Right Round'), Cee Lo Green ('F--- You'), K'naan ('Wavin' Flag'), Sean Kingston ('Tomorrow') and B.o.B. ('Nothin' On You'), among others.

Watch Bruno Mars' 'Grenade' %VIRTUAL-globalVideoEmbed-{"videoIds":"517721332","width":"476","height":"357"}%

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