Jay-Z Leaves Def Jam

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 3:53 PM CDT
Jay-Z performs at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles in this file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Jay-Z confirmed to RapRadar today that he has left Def Jam Records after more than a decade. The news follows an unconfirmed report on HitsDailyDouble that the rapper bought out his contract for $5 million. Jay-Z, 39, owed Def Jam one more album, but he was eager to move on to his new Roc Nation venture under the Live Nation umbrella. His Blueprint 3, with Kanye West as a producer, is expected out this year.

“I can honestly say, working with Doug Morris and LA Reid has been a unique and fulfilling experience, and I respect them immensely,” Jay-Z told RapRadar. “I’ve been in the family for almost my entire career.” The negotiations apparently involved a coin toss. “Doug won the toss, but we both won in the end,” he said. “I thank him for allowing me to be a completely independent artist.”