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"I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artistic community."
——Jay-Z
SHAWN "JAY-Z" CARTER READY TO JAM AT DEF
Rap Star Mashes His Way to President/CEO of Pioneering Rap Label, Acquired by IDJ
From Mashing Up the charts to the corporate boardroom.

Fresh off the #1 debut of  Collision Course, his WB/MTV collaboration with Linkin Park, Shawn Carter, the rapper formerly known as Jay-Z, has been named President/CEO of Def Jam Recordings by Island Def Jam Music Group Chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid, to whom he'll report.

Jay-Z will take office Jan. 3, and be based at IDJ's New York headquarters.

Jay-Z will continue to run Roc-A-Fella as well, the label he started with partner Damon Dash, who is now, according to the N.Y. Post, in conversations with UMG to start another label. The label's Kanye West was the leader in yesterday's announced Grammy nominations, notching 10 for the ceremony, to be held Feb. 13 at the Staples Center in L.A.

Said Reid: "After 10 years of successfully running Roc-A-Fella, Shawn has proven himself to be an astute businessman, in addition to the brilliant artistic talent that the world sees and hears. We are fortunate that he has agreed to take over as President/CEO of Def Jam Recordings. I can think of no one more relevant and credible in the hip-hop community to build upon Def Jam's fantastic legacy and move the company into its next groundbreaking era. And if he thought he had 99 problems before, wait until he tries running a record company."

Added Carter: "I have inherited two of the most important brands in hip-hop, Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella. LA Reid and Doug Morris have given me the opportunity to manage the companies I have contributed to throughout my whole career. I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artistic community."

In addition, Reid announced that IDJ had acquired the remaining 50% of Roc-A-Fella Records from the three principals of Roc-A-Fella Records, including Carter, Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke.   Def Jam had first entered into a joint venture with Roc-A-Fella in 1997.   

Said Reid: "This is truly historic and cause for celebration. The artists and staff of Roc-A-Fella have worked diligently for a decade to establish the label as the premier voice in hip-hop, from both a cultural and commercial point-of-view.  Today, Roc-A-Fella boasts one of the most important and listened-to artist rosters on the planet, and is blessed with a deep catalog whose message has never gone out of style.  We look forward to growing the Roc-A-Fella brand and expanding the roster in the years ahead."

Since 1995, Jay-Z and his Roc-A-Fella artists have dominated the rap business with an extensive catalog, talented artists and producers, and a profitable brand that spawned a clothing line (Roca Wear), films (Fade to Black, Backstage, Streets Is Watching, State Property), a nightclub (40/40 Club) and a successful sneaker line (Reebok's S. Carter shoe collection). Moreover, Jay-Z has founded three philanthropic organizations, including The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund, Team Roc and the annual Jay-Z Santa Claus Toy Drive.

Carter's string of multi-platinum albums, SRO concerts and more than 30 million albums sold worldwide make him a formidable triple-threat as entrepreneur, performer and talent exec. He announced that his Grammy-nominated Black Album would be his last as a performer, and it has been a huge success, with more than 2.9 million OTC and critical plaudits.

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