Rapper and entertainer Shawn Carter, known to many as Jay-Z, is in the final negotiations to become president of Universal Music Group’s Island Def Jam label. Negotiations have been in process since late October and no final conclusion has been announced yet by the record label. Universal Music Group’s Island Def Jam is offering Jay-Z a three-year contract.
As president of the Island Def Jam label, Jay-Z will report to Antonio “L.A” Reid, the chairman of the label, who was just recently signed by the label early this year. Kevin Liles, the label’s last president, was ousted in July.
“Jay-Z the music executive gives Def Jam someone who is at the top of his game creatively, while also understanding the many pitfalls inherent in the music business,” said David Adelson HITS Magazine editor and E!News live correspondent.
Signing Jay-Z as president of the label will give the label instant credibility to lure in many up-and-coming rappers and artists. As president, Jay-Z would not only be guiding the careers of rap stars like Ludacris and Ja Rule, but also managing the alt-rock markets with artists like the Killers and Sum41.
Universal Music Group is rumored to also be in talks with Jay-Z, longtime friend and partner Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, to buy the Roc-A-Fella Recording label. Jay-Z’s appointment is expected to happen regardless of the outcome of this deal.
The rap mogul’s entrepreneurship goes beyond this single business deal. This rapper has marketed himself through his label and clothing line Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc-A-Fella Wear and also signed a multiyear deal with Reebok, which gave Jay-Z an official “signature” shoe line.
Jay-Z officially announced his retirement from the music industry this year and has currently been on the Best of Both Worlds tour with R&B singer R.Kelly. The two artists have also collaborated on a new joint album called Best of Both Worlds: Unfinished Business.