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Jay-Z Exits Def Jam

Jayz Shawn Jay-Z Carter will step down as president of Universal's Def Jam.  The rapper, who was named Def Jam president in 2005, said in a statement that it is "time for me to take on new challenges." Universal says he will continue to release his own music through Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam. Jay-Z co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Damon Dash in 1995 later selling it to Def Jam.

Earlier this month Def Jam cut a number of staffers including several top A&R execs. (details here)

The rumor mill has long speculated that the serial music entrepreneur was restless with the struggling major label model and exploring starting a more cutting edge music company.  Live Nation/Artist Nation are among those mentioned as potential partners.

More: NY Times, Reuters

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