Rapper Jay-Z is in negotiations to vacate his President position at Def Jam, in order to join Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin at Columbia.
Rubin left Warner Music Group in May for an executive position working alongside Chairman Steve Barnett.
Rubin, who founded Def Jam in 1982 and later partnered with Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons in a New York University dorm room to launch one of the most influential record labels in history, is forming a super group of A&R’s and executives.
According to The New York Daily News, Jay-Z may leave Def Jam to join the team.
One of the reasons for the defection is reportedly the February creation of Island Records Urban Music Group, which is run by Atlanta mogul Jermaine Dupri.
Jay-Z’s girlfriend Beyonce is also an artist on the Columbia imprint, while Jay-Z and Rubin have collaborated successfully in the past, as Rubin produced Jay-Z’s hit single “99 Problems” from his 2003 release The Black Album.
According to The New York Daily News, Jay-Z will also be leaving Island Def Jam owning his entire catalog.
Other reports have surfaced that Jay-Z and Beyonce are in negotiations with Apple’s iTunes to create a digital record label.
Currently, Jay-Z is experiencing unprecedented success with 19-year-old Rhianna, an artist he signed to Def Jam and has championed since 2004.
Rhianna’s single “Umbrella” featuring Jay-Z is the longest running UK number one single in a decade, since Wet Wet Wet topped the charts with their 1994 hit “Love Is All Around.”