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Jay Z Won't Jam On

Angel Amor

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Jay-Z Won't Jam On

by Marcus Errico

The Jigga's up...and out the door.

Jay-Z will be having lots more time to spend with Beyoncé this New Year's after it was announced Monday that he would be stepping down as president of Def Jam effective Jan. 1.

He took over the reins at the famed hip-hop factory in 2005 shortly after he announced his brief retirement from recording.

In announcing his departure, the 38-year-old multihyphenate said in a statement that it was time for him to "take on new challenges."

During his two-year tenure, Jay-Z has signed the likes of Rihanna and Ne-Yo and overseen blockbuster releases by himself and Kanye West, eventually realizing that he didn't want to be out of the rapping game for good.

Vivendi-owned Universal Music, the parent of Def Jam, says the rapper will continue to record for the company's Roc-A-Fella label, which he cofounded in 1996, long before becoming top dog.

The hip-hop mogul also founded several Roc-A-Fella spinoff companies, including a film production shingle and the Rocawear fashion label, which he sold in March for $204 million.

He also owns the upscale 40/40 Club sports bars (named after the elite group of baseball players who have hit 40 homeruns and stolen 40 bases) in New York and Atlantic City. A Las Vegas location is opening Sunday in the newly built extension of the Venetian hotel, the Palazzo. A new spot in Macau is on track to open in late 2008 or early 2009.

Last month, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, saw his latest album, American Gangster, open on top of the pop charts. That gave him 10 number one albums in 10 years and tied him with Elvis Presley for the most chart toppers by a solo artist. Hova and Presley trail only the Beatles, who have 19 number one albums.

He is also up for five Grammy Awards, while he helped steer Def Jam to a total of 26 nods.

In August, Jay-Z was tapped as the top Hip-Hop Cash King by Forbes magazine, pocketing $34 million the previous year.

And although he's hanging up his key to the executive washroom for now, Jay-Z said recently that he feels good about where the industry is headed.

"As a person who is optimistic about hip-hop, I look at albums like American Gangster and Kanye West's Graduation as albums that people can emulate because they were made with nothing but the highest of integrity and passion about putting your all into the music," he told billboard.com last week. "People tend to emulate success, so hopefully they'll emulate the blueprint of those albums and we'll have some great music."

Copyright 2007 E! Entertainment Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Alright, let's either get a true Hip-Hop pioneer 2 run the lable...or let's close it's doors. The article paints a pretty picture in Jay-Z's favor. But let's not overlook the fact that he bastardized the label. Sit back a second and think about Russell Simmons running a label with LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Slick Rick, EPMD, Method Man, DMX, Redman, Onyx, Montell Jordan, Def Squad, and Foxy Brown. Classic single after classic single. Forming a true legacy. Being a cornerstone in Hip-Hop history. Now think of Jay-Z running a label with whoever is on it now. Who?...The Roots (after their prime) and a very unhappy and neglected LL Cool J along with 2 really good R-N-B artists that don't actually fit in with the classic Def Jam vibe. I'd love 2 see the lable return 2 glory.

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it's about damn time

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Amen 2 that!! I mean, for a brief moment he had the Illion label and he has Rock The Bells Ent. He should surround himself with some good business people who have a heart for true Hip-Hop and go 4 it. Otherwise, let's just close it's doors and remember the pioneering days.

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I'd like to see LL be in charge of Def Jam but I don't see it happening either

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