After leaving his highly publicized role as president of Def Jam, Jay-Z has remained, for the most part, out of the public's eye.
This lead to numerous speculations of Jay-Z's future business plans, which were rumored to include an all-digital record label with Apple, as well as the possibility of joining Rick Rubin at Columbia Records. The speculation can now end, as Hov's choice has been made, reports The New York Times.
The Hip Hop mogul's next move? A $150 million deal with concert giant Live Nation.
According to reports, the deal includes "financing for his own entertainment venture, in addition to recordings and tours for the next decade."
The deal is one of several for Live Nation, which aims to directly compete with the industry's music labels. In this deal, Live Nation will have access to not just CD sales, but a larger share of an artist's overall revenue. Such deals have already been lined up with U2 and Madonna, though neither one is as comprehensive.
Live Nation, known mainly for major rock and country tours, is making its first major foray into the Hip Hop genre.
As part of the agreement, Jay will receive financing from Live Nation for the start-up of a venture described as an "umbrella for his outside projects, which are expected to include his own label, music publishing, and talent consulting and managing." Live Nation will also contribute $5 million a year in overhead for five years, with another $25 being made available to fund the rapper's other acquisitions or investments. The venture will be known as Roc Nation, and will split profits with Live Nation.
The agreement also includes an upfront payment of $25 million, an advance of $25 million which includes fees for his current tour (with Mary J. Blige), and an advance payment of $10 million an album for at least three albums during the course of the 10-year term. Other payments dealing with specific publishing, licensing and other rights will add up to approximately $20 million.
Jay-Z spoke briefly on the matter, noting that this deal has the potential “to reach the consumer in so many different ways right now.” Hov continued, “everyone’s trying to figure it out. I want to be on the front lines in
Jay also spoke on the fact that radio play wouldn't be necessary for his future as an artist: “In a way I want to operate like an indie band,” he said. “Play the
music on tour instead of relying on radio. Hopefully we’ll get some
hits out of there and radio will pick it up, but we won’t make it with
that in mind.”
Live Nation's chairman Michael Cohl also addressed the matter. “He could be doing more tours and doing great. There
could be endorsements and sponsorships.” He added, “The whole is what’s
Jay-Z suggested that this new entertainment model would have risings stars thinking “ ‘Something must be happening. Madonna did it, she’s not slow. Jay-Z, he’s not slow either.’ ”