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Young Money CEO Cortez Bryant Speaks on Drake’s Distribution Deal

In one of hip-hop’s most drawn-out bidding wars, Drake has finally inked a deal with Universal Republic, according to Young Money’s Cortez Bryant.

Bryant says the Toronto rapper was already signed to Young Money Entertainment, but signed his distribution deal on Sunday.“[We were looking for] all the creative control and all the say-so over the project,” said Bryant, “the person who gave us the sweetest deal.”

Drake, who Bryant says is ecstatic about the signing, will appear on one of two follow-up singles to Young Money’s hit “Every Girl,” slated to drop in the next two weeks.

Drake’s debut album, Thank Me Later, has no release date, but Bryant says the Young Money group album is expected to drop late this year, on the same day as Lil Wayne’s The Rebirth.

Aside from becoming 2009’s most buzzed new artist after releasing his So Far Gone mixtape, Drake has gained fans in fellow rappers.

Jay-Z will reportedly feature the newcomer on his first single for his forthcoming album, Blueprint 3. And Nas recently sang Drake’s praises in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald. “He’s here to show anybody who questions him that he’ll get at you,” Nas said of Drizzy. “He’s like fresh water right now on dry land.”

Drake goes on tour next month along with Weezy, Soulja Boy, and Young Jeezy for the Young Money Presents: America’s Most Wanted Music Festival. The first concert stop is July 27, in Scranton, PA. –John Kennedy

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