Rapper Jay-Z has been named president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, home of such acts as Grammy frontrunner Kanye West and rap veteran LL Cool J.
He will report to Antonio “L.A.” Reid, chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group, which is part of Universal Music Group. Based in IDJ’s New York offices, Jay-Z will officially take his new post on Jan. 3.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, will continue to run his record company Roc-a-Fella. IDJ recently bought the remaining 50 percent stake in the label from Jay-Z and his business partners Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke.
Over nearly a decade the Roc-a-Fella brand has spawned other ventures, including the Roca Wear clothing line, films including “Fade to Black” and “State Property,” the 40/40 nightclub and a Reebok sneaker line.
“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,” said Reid in a statement. “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.”
“I have inherited two of the most important brands in hip-hop, Def Jam and Roc-a-Fella,” says Jay-Z. “I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artistic community.”
Jay-Z announced his “retirement” as an artist after the release of “The Black Album” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam), which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and yielded three Grammy nominations for him Tuesday. But retirement hasn’t been easy for the superstar — his mash-up collaboration “MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents Jay-Z/Linkin Park: Collision Course” (Warner Bros.) debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week.