Lyor Cohen Denies Jay-Z Label Rumors

Warner Music Group chairman and former Def Jam executive Lyor Cohen has denied rumors that the company is in talks with Jay-Z to launch a new record label called the Carter Music Group. When questioned by New York Daily News columnists Rush & Molloy, Cohen expressed a desire to work with Jay again, but denied that any such talks had taken place. “I would be honored and privileged to work with him again,” Cohen explained. “Bringing Jay-Z to the Warner Music Group would be a privilege and a coup. I’d do it in a heartbeat.” Jay stepped down from his post as president and CEO of Def Jam at the end of last year, saying that he felt it was time to pursue other ventures. However, several sources have suggested that he was asking for too much money and was unable to reach an agreement with Island Def Jam chairman LA Reid for a new contract. An unidentified Def Jam exec told Rush & Molloy that they did not believe Reid would mind competing with Jay, who is still signed to the label as an artist. “Starting a record label from scratch is very difficult,” the source explained. “If Warner Music wants to do it, better them than us.”