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Jay-Z new Def Jam Prez


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After finally reaching a deal to sell the remaining portion of Roc-A-Fella Records to Island Def Jam for $10 million dollars, Jay-Z was named president of the legendary label founded by Russell Simmons in 1985.

"I have inherited two of the most important brands in hip-hop, Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella,” Jay-Z said. “LA Reid and the Universal Music Group have given me the opportunity to manage the companies I have contributed to my whole career. I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artist community."

Simmons, who founded the label in 1985 along with acclaimed producer Rick Rubin, said that Jay-Z's appointment to president would help the Def Jam brand name in the marketplace.

“Jay-Z running the Def Jam label is going to be great,” Russell Simmons told AllHipHop.com. “I couldn’t be happier; this it is a great honor for all of those who laid the groundwork for Def Jam. Jay’s involvement is a great thing for the Def Jam brand.”

Jay-Z will report directly to Antonio “LA” Reid and will continue to run Roc-A-Fella Records as part of the deal.

Reid acknowledged Jay-Z’s business acumen and his ten-year track record of running the Roc-A-Fella label.

“We are fortunate that he has agreed to take over as president & CEO of Def Jam Recordings,” Reid said. “I can think of no one more relevant and credible in the hip-hop community to build upon Def Jam's fantastic legacy and move the company into its next groundbreaking era."

The appointment is effective January 3, 2005, with Jay-Z operating out of Island Def Jam’s New York offices.

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