Sunday, May 31, 2009

Def Jam Alumni in "Top-Secret" Talks About Working Together Again at WMG, According

We were right about the Roc Nation-to-Sony Music part, but it looks like Jay-Z may have other plans for his own music.
The N.Y. Daily News’ Gatecrasher column reported this morning that the superstar rapper/entrepreneur is eyeing a move to Warner Music Group, reuniting him with his fellow Def Jam alumnus Lyor Cohen.

The deal, which would affiliate Jay-Z with Atlantic, could make him one of the richest and most powerful men in music, the story asserts.

A well-placed industry source tells Gatecrasher that Jay has been taking top-secret meetings with his old pals and former managers Cohen and Kevin Liles. Topics of the hush-hush conversations have included giving Jay his own record label at WMG, tentatively to be called the Carter Music Group.

"Jay knows Lyor and Kevin from back when they all worked together at Def Jam, and he obviously wants to work something out with his friends," a source told the reporters. "He wants to get the dream team back together. There have been a few whiffs of a reunion in the past, but only now—and very privately—is something finally starting to happen.

"This is big in hip-hop,” the insider continued. “These are three of the most powerful men in music, who might be working together, and there's no question the success they'll have as a team will be huge."

But Cohen and Liles failed in their attempts to convince Jay to bring Roc Nation to WMG, the story stated, adding that Jay has chosen to release The Blueprint 3, the album he bought back from IDJ for a reported $5 million, through Live Nation this fall.

Said another music-biz insider: "Jay's deal with Live Nation is massive, but if he were to cut a deal with WMG/Atlantic, he'd make even more headlines. Jay-Z, Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles are all brand names. They're the industry's heavy hitters, and the combination would bring them a lot of attention. They would be unstoppable. Jay himself is the most successful rapper-turned-businessman out there."

A rep at WMG would not comment; Jay-Z's team didn't return Gatecrasher’s calls

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