Universal puts Jay-Z in charge of Def Jam

Dec. 9, 2004 at 11:27 AM

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. rap star Jay-Z has agreed to be president of Universal Music Group's Def Jam Recordings label, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Although Jay-Z lacks corporate experience, Universal is putting him in charge of one of its biggest divisions, granting him authority over everything from album production to marketing strategies and an artist roster that includes stars like LL Cool J and Ludacris.

"I think it sends a great message out to artists," said Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter. "If you put enough work in and pay attention, maybe one day you can run a company."

Warner Music Group had reportedly been seeking to hire Jay-Z, the newspaper said. But Universal and Antonio Reid, chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group, were able to get Jay-Z to sign with them.

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