Jay-Z Takes Over
For most people, retirement means a chance to kick back and take it easy. For Jay-Z, it means picking up a brand-new career where the old one left off.
The rapper turned impresario was officially dubbed president and CEO of Def Jam Records Wednesday by Island Def Jams Music Group chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, will also continue to head up Roc-A-Fella Records, which he cofounded with Damon Dash in 1995.
Def Jam announced Wednesday that it had wholly acquired the label, which includes acts such as Grammy shoo-in Kanye West, Cam’ron and the recently jailed Beanie Sigel.
“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,” Reid said in a statement. “We are fortunate that he has agreed to take over as president and 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.”
Jay-Z, who is scheduled to take up the reins at Def Jam on Jan. 3, created shock waves when he announced that the Grammy-nominated The Black Album would be his final solo production.
The album debuted at the top of the charts, a feat Jigga made look easy during his tenure as a hip-hopster.
Jay-Z’s ongoing musical acclaim didn’t end with the success of The Black Album. Since cutting his solo career short, two of Jay-Z’s collaborative efforts have debuted at number one–Best of Both Worlds: Unfinished Business, with sparring partner R. Kelly, and the current number-one album, Collision Course, with Linkin Park.
To complete Jay-Z’s going-out-on-top extravaganza, he has been nominated for three Grammys–Best Rap Album for The Black Album and Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song for “99 Problems.”
BeyoncÈ’s beau was upbeat about the next stage in his career.
“I have inherited two of the most important brands in hip-hop, Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella,” Jay-Z said in a statement.
“L.A. Reid and the Universal Music Group have given me the opportunity to manage the companies I have contributed to my whole career. I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artist community.”
Jay-Z Takes Over