Should Def Jam drop Jay-Z?

Word on the streets (i.e. the Internets) is that Jay-Z might be leaving Def Jam for real this time.

In that hilarious interview on Sirius Satellite Radio from this past weekend, in which Fiddy makes fun of Nas and Kelis, and Fat Joe, and Irv Gotti and Ja Rule, and pretty much everyone, Fiddy suggests that Jay is leaving Def Jam for Columbia Records, to start a new label with his boo-slash-beard Beyonce.

You’ll recall that Columbia Records is now run by Rick Rubin, whom Jay worked with on the Black Album. One of Jay’s old bag handlers, Hip-Hop, is an A&R or some such over there, and both the Clipse and Jim Jones (whom Jay has had beef with in the past) supposedly recently signed lucrative joint venture deals with the label.

According to an item today in the New York Daily News’ Rush & Molloy column contract renewal negotiations between Jay and the TIs at Universal Music have broken down. Supposedly, Jay is demanding way too much money, considering he’s hardly ever even in the office.

In particular, they’re complaining that he’s spending too much time touring, which probably doesn’t serve to benefit the label itself much, especially since American Gangster probably isn’t selling nearly as well as the label would have liked. After a month in stores, it’s only sold something like 600,000 copies.

Here’s the operative bit from the Rush & Molloy column, from an unnamed source inside the label.

“People have lost count of how many times he’s come out of retirement,” the source says. “Everybody knows he’s not around the office much. Everybody at Universal loves him, but they can’t justify paying him the money he wants when so many people have been laid off.”

Now granted we’ve heard all sorts of rumors before, about Jay planning to leave Def Jam to start his own label with Beyonce, and about Jay having beef with LA Reid, and what have you. And these TIs have been known to plant a story in the paper while in the midst of contract negotiations.

My guess is that Def Jam really is interested in keeping Jay around, not so much in the sense that they think he’s an effective executive, but because they don’t want all of their rappers jumping ship to other labels. They just can’t justify paying him very much, if he’s not gonna do anything.

If anything, they’d probably like to have a piece of that touring money, let alone whatever else Jay’s got his hands in these days – hardly any of which probably actually serves to benefit Def Jam. I mean, if he’s not gonna generate much in the way of income actually selling records.

To play the white devil’s advocate for a second, if I was Def Jam, I’d demand such a deal, or else I’d drop his ass like a bad habit. Worse case scenario, maybe Kanye West, who’s still got some buzz, follows Jay to Columbia or whatever, but maybe he doesn’t. Maybe the TIs at Universal can work some of their Dame Dash divide and conquer magic and find ‘Ye a fake executive position, just like they did with Jay.

  • i.d.k. my b.f.f. Jay?

    He probably made demands off what he knew he could get FROM columbia in the 1st place.

    Def Jam hasn’t seemed to do TOO bad w/ Jig in the office, but i thought prez of def jam is like king of england – just sounds really important – BUT i don’t knoe

  • JAY STONE

    Another hate on jay z.man what the fuck is your problem.

  • blacker cracker

    jay is a clown. that reminds me of something yall should know. it’s great fuckin 5year olds because of how big your dick looks in em, but it really sucks washing the blood out your clown suit

    where can i hear that 50 cent interview at?

  • Allen_j

    I don’t know both artist he brought in have both sold gold and platinum albums other than that he has been usuing the money on his self

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  • Mean Greene

    Now this is the kind of mindless, speculative but all the while mildly entertaining blogging that I’ve come to expect from this site. Billy X, watch and learn.

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  • mcphly

    Byron, remove that corny ass picture. The only time you go hard is on the internet. Why wuold you sit in an office with artist that do not work? LL’s last few albums have been garbage, DMX albums have been garbage, and Meth…enough said.

  • BIG O

    as much as it hurts i think jay should be fired.im a fan but he is fucking up.freeway,beanie sigel,and ghostface have solid albums out or coming and they have recieved little to no promotion.he can put together a great album but cant sell it for shit.maybe he should just be a a&r or something but please dont go start another label cause you will kill your own career and legend.

  • The dynasty

    When and why did the clipse and Jay beef?

    • http://xxlmag.com Bol

      >When and why did the clipse and Jay beef?

      They once had a lengthy argument over people who either aren’t able to read or simply refuse to anyway.

      • http://www.myspace.com/sogentllc LowEndofDaChi

        LMAO!

        This comment section needs an “edit” feature bad!

  • juju

    J is not going to go to another label because all of his flaws as an exec will show. LA Reid covers J behind… So expect J to sign again or stay on and do something small. No, he shouldn’t sign again because too many have to suffer. J wants big money and he is expecting it because he is making a promise of B going to Def Jam….whcih is why she is rushing to get out of her contract.

  • Jones

    Ayo! Most of you doods is stupid. how you runnin around talking about “yeah they should fire him” when you don’t know anything about the situation? Have you ever been in the office? Have you ever worked with jay? How many records do you think Ghostface and styles P coulda sold anyways? Stop acting like you got the situation all figured out just cause you read some blog you fucking idiot.

    • http://www.myspace.com/sogentllc LowEndOfDaChi

      The nerve of these hip hop fans nowadays…

      I agree though…Comments like “They should fire him” and blah blah such and such just show you how WWFish rap has become.

  • daz

    he needs to get fired!!!!!!!!

  • Mean Greene

    >When and why did the clipse and Jay beef?

    >>They once had a lengthy argument over people who either aren’t able to read or simply refuse to anyway.

    Comedy…

    Anyway Def Jam’s not letting Hov go anywhere. The hip-hop world needs to wake up. If anybody here thinks that Hov is in charge of marketing and promoting ANY non Roc-A-Fella project on Def Jam you must’ve switched styrofoam cups with Lil Weezy. Def Jam has dozens of employees that handle the things people swear Jay handles (even after the lay-offs).

    It’s easier to market Jay-z than LL Cool J because Jay has better written songs, more swag and a fan base that doesn’t consist of 99% females. (Replace females with stoners for Red and Meth…still works.)

    • og

      are you saying that its easier to market to men than woman? wtf?!? how old are you??? pac laid out the blueprint a long time ago…chicks buy the records-period, and dudes buy the records that chicks buy…dudes just download “dude” music…besides, who the FUCK do you think bought all the rihanna and neyo records—guys???
      you honestly think that ll couldn’t have gone plat just by marketing his looks/history to all his insanely loyal female fans??? ok then…what about reds album??? emplain that one homie! or what about free and beans ablums right now–explain those homie!!

      what about ghosts album??? did you cop that shit?! its straight motherfuckin fire! where’s the promotion on that one homie??????

  • youngz

    What, has he only sold 600 k so far??
    That has to be considered a flop..
    Hip-hop is soo dead right now….

  • lookadeez

    does any one here even know what the other executives at other labels are selling? what are you even comparing him too?

  • WAT_WAT_WATT

    People have lost count of how many times he’s come out of retirement,” the source says.

    Jay retired once dumb f****

  • Ty

    Hov only asked for a grip of money because he knew that Def Jam/ Universal would balk at such a command and therefore Hov now has leeway to bolt Def Jam…..Checkmate

    Hov 1- Def Jam/Universal 0

  • Drydock

    Bol– In the latest issue of Rolling Stone Mag., Jay-Z answers your question. He claims to have “broke” (signed?produced?) four major new groups this year when the usual rate for an executive is one. So in his mind he is 400% more efficient than the usual TI. I forgot which groups they were though.

  • blacker cracker

    underspiter ran off with his tail between his legs

  • moresickaMC

    Freeway’s dope album was criminally under-promoted.

    LL was right Jay-Z only promotes Jay-Z

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    Greetings and happy holidays, B.C.

    Here’s a toast to you and your bastard siblings, in high hopes that you get a job this week so you can afford to get your mother’s tubes tied before her annual New Years Eve Orgy.

    Don’t worry, I won’t be there this year. The tickets were already sold out by the time I tried to RSVP on her Myspace page, and you know I ain’t paying for that subprime pus.

    • blacker cracker

      mannn, now you know you aint never had no puss. i hate to ruin the suprise for you, but even when some bitch does feel sorry enough for you to let you try a little, youre not gonna be able to handle it, you’ll prolly get up the courage to start taking it up the ass like your heart really desires

  • Vicious Seiger

    Jay-Z, Jay-Z, Jay-Z what can I say. Either releasing American Gangster was one of 2007 biggest misses or Jay knows it will under perform in stores and is using this as a ploy to leave Def Jam. A.G. wasn’t even half as good as it was hyped up to be. Will he jump ship? Wouldn’t surprise me. Jay doesn’t seem like the guy who’d have your back when you’re up against the wall. All in all, It comes down to a dollar bill if you’re not happy at where you are sometimes the best thing to do is start fresh. Will a new label garnish the acclaim of the ROC? I wouldn’t hold my breath. Back to A.G., No one except die hards Jigga fans tell me A.G. was good. With the Acappella Album of A.G. out I’ve been tempted to shatter and rearrange this album with vocals from other artists and try blending into other beats. Hey it won’t be a classic but I can’t do much worse. Disappointed in A.G. – Yes but with this development it all makes since.

  • Bol but with the facts

    American Gangster has sold 694,954 copies in the United States

  • jphoenix

    None of y’all know the facts of what is really going-including who wrote this article. This is all some unconfirmed non-verified speculation to me. Let me know when something is in writing for chrissake!

  • http://xxlmag.com Mike Johnson

    You are such a Jay hater, who is your favorite rapper, entertainer, or whatever? What hip hop music do you like? Name 5 rappers that are better than Jay, and be serious, don’t go naming a bunch of indy rappers. Very few rappers are selling these days, if American Gangster came out in 2002, it would be platinum, retard.

  • HMMM

    Doest West have a joint venture with Columbia with G.OO.D music? it all make too much sense to be an accident.

  • DevoG

    @Vicious Sieger
    I’m not a dj, and it seems as if you are buy your comment. My question is how did AG disappoint you? Yes, I am a J fan, but even without his lyrical prowess, AG was worth the money for the music alone. This aint no diss either. I just wanna know what it takes to please some of you folks out here. Dont get caught up in BOL’s bs. Like a earlier commenter mentioned, yall keep saying he’s not doing anything in the office, or that he’s not breaking acts, but what other executives are yall comparing him too. Not 50. Not JD. Not Puff. Definitely not Dre. Soo who? If anything Def Jam has bounced back pretty nicely, and for 2 years straight have had better 4th quarters(no AI(2pts) vs Kobe(12pts)) than pretty much everybody else in hiphop.

  • Izza

    This is the only thing you have ever written
    that i agree with.

    I feel immoral…lol

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    Back to the subject…

    Jay is too rich to care.

    If I were him, I would throw out a crazy number too.

    If he gets it, great.
    If he doesn’t, great.

    His family is set for generations. Maybe now, if he really doesn’t re-sign, he can finally enjoy that success that his family has been reaping.

    And it’s not like he doesn’t have one of the baddest chicks in the game, if not the hottest.

    And it’s not like AG isn’t a dope album.

    This looks like the perfect cue for “The Mike Jordan of rap” (gotta love it) to finally call it a night. Or he could just sign to Columbia with another cushy exec job and a better royalty rate.

    Please believe that L.A. Reid is going to be A.O. Kay.

  • http://www.blockdocs.com daboyron

    I love Jay but Defjam shouldn’t overpay him if he’s not doing anything there. Jay should go and do his own thing. He’s not going to be hurting for cash…

    How would this effect The Roc though? If Jay goes does he take the Roc with him? If he goes and the Roc Stays then what’s the difference if he’s the President or not. Defjam is still eating off of him…..

  • DJ Pimpin

    Honestly i maybe a Jay fan since like In My Lifetime because i was young when Reasonable Doubt came out, i was like 4 or 5 even though i’m 20 now. but i think Jay should start Carter Music Group and distribute himself and go independant like Fat Joe did, I mean it’s going to become a trend when all of these label heads start acting greedy and selfish and not giving the artists what they want and need such as promotion or otherwise, once you establish yourself in the game you can go independant and wont lose your fan base, look at Fat Joe, 50 Cent didn’t hurt him at all and look at D Block they went Independant and now Jadakiss is signed to the ROC soon their going to follow with D Block signing with The ROC and most definitely The ROC is going with Jay Z because he could buy The ROC from Def Jam and put it under the CMG umbrella and start his own super music label group much like Def Jam Music Group or Island Def Jam Music Group or Universal Music Group. it’s not going to hurt him either way.