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.)