"During that time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of the world’s most dynamic artists and many of the most dedicated and talented executives in the music business today...But now it’s time for me to take on new challenges."

JAY-Z STEPPING DOWN
AS DEF JAM PREZ

Will Continue as Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Recording Artist

It was the night before Christmas and Jay-Z has decided to leave the house.

Def Jam Records President Shawn Carter, better known as rapper Jay-Z, announced today that he has chosen not to resume his post when his contract expires at the end of this year. He will, however, continue in his capacity as a recording artist for Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam. Jay-Z co-founded the Roc-A-Fella Records label in 1996.

Negotiations to renew his contract had gone back and forth over the past few months without resolution. The hip-hop entrepreneur has headed the label since 2005, signing hit acts such as Rihanna and Ne-Yo. Rumors have floated he might re-join either ex-colleague Rick Rubin at Columbia Records or former partner Lyor Cohen at Warner Music Group. A source familiar with his plans says instead he will focus on expanding his chain of 40/40 Nightclubs and other business ventures, as well as his recording career.

Jay-Z stated: “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have served as President of such a culturally-defining label as Def Jam over the last three years. During that time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of the world’s most dynamic artists and many of the most dedicated and talented executives in the music business today, including [IDJMG Chairman/ CEO] Antonio “L.A.” Reid. But now it’s time for me to take on new challenges. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to build upon the Def Jam legacy, helping to move the company into a new era of artistic success.”

Commented Reid: “Jay made it clear to us that he feels the time has come to take on different challenges in his life. While we regret his decision to move on, we certainly respect it. Since Jay joined us as President of Def Jam in 2005, we have all benefited from his leadership, sense of spirit and invaluable friendship. While he will continue to be one of our signature artists, he will nonetheless be missed in this executive capacity. The entire Island Def Jam family joins me in wishing him the very best in all of his future business endeavors.”

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