Jay-Z Close to Sony Deal— or Maybe Warner

Conflicting reports leave it unclear where former Def Jam artist will move
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2009 2:12 AM CDT
Jay-Z Close to Sony Deal— or Maybe Warner
Jay-Z performs at the grand reopening of the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)

Following his departure from Def Jam, Jay-Z is close to making a deal with a new label—the question is, which one? Sources tell Billboard a deal with Sony’s Epic Records “is 95% complete,” while the New York Daily News reports a deal with Warner Music Group/Atlantic is in the works. The rapper has close ties to execs in both camps, and has reportedly held secret meetings with both.

“This is big in hip-hop,” says a source of Jay-Z’s potential team-up with former managers Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles at Warner. “These are three of the most powerful men in music.” Also up for debate is the release of Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3: The Daily News says he’ll stick with Live Nation, with which he cut a deal last year; Billboard says Epic is more likely. (Read more Jay-Z stories.)

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