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Will UMG try to prevent Jay-Z's label from going to WMG? Can Lyor nab him as an artist, too? Will UMG be forced to choose between Jay-Z and Damon Dash? And, if so, who wins that showdown?
WHICH WAY YOU GOING, JAY-Z?
Rival Music Groups Battle Over Rapper's Proposed New Label
Jay-Z's got "99 Problems," and one of them is finding a home for his proposed new label.

According to published reports, IDJ Chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid is dangling an executive post for the rapper in an attempt to keep him from taking his planned Shawn Carter Records to rival Warner Music Group, where Jay-Z's one-time colleague Lyor Cohen is now ensconced.

Even though the Jigga has announced his retirement as a recording artist, he still owes at least one album under his deal with Roc-A-Fella/IDJ. The company is looking for a greatest hits with new tracks that it can release in Q4 '04.

Meanwhile, it's no secret that Roc-A-Fella founders Jay-Z and Damon Dash no longer see eye-to-eye on the direction of the label, further hastening Hova's efforts to find a new home for his company.

UMG holds an option to buy the half of Roc-A-Fella it doesn't already own next year, but a label without Jay-Z is certainly less attractive.  Even insiders wonder which one is largely responsible for the company's success.

One insider said: "Jay-Z has never necessarily proven himself as a businessman." Others insist Dash owes his success to his longtime pal, though the recent breakthrough of Kanye West comfirms the latter's ability to effectively market and promote talent.

Will UMG try to prevent Jay-Z's label from going to WMG? Can Lyor nab him as an artist, too? Will UMG be forced to choose between Jay-Z and Damon Dash?  And, if so, who wins that showdown?

As we said, "99 Problems," with more action to come.

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