Those rumors that Jay-Z was starting a label with Beyonce and Steve Jobs? So last week. According to Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column, Jay might jump the Island Def Jam ship for a gig at Columbia–and the reason might be pesky houseguest/Janet Jackson paramour Jermaine Dupri:
A source very close to the hip-hop mogul confirms he is in negotiations to jump to rival Columbia.
Other insiders say the arrival of Jermaine Dupri as president of the Island Urban music division in February is the reason.
“There isn’t room for two kings at one label,” says a source. “Why would Island bring in another power-hitter urban guy?”
Dupri’s main squeeze, Janet Jackson, followed him to Island two weeks ago. And Columbia is the home of Jay’s girlfriend, Beyoncé.
The fact that Jay would take with him ownership of his own master recordings makes him an attractive hire. And Columbia co-chair Rick Rubin has lately been shaking up his label’s A&R department.
Well, Island might want to bring in “another power-hitter urban guy” because of the increasing dissatisfaction with Jay’s tenure, although bringing in a guy whose first signing is his on-the-decline girlfriend may not be the best way to solve those sorts of issues. Still, while the Jay-Z/Rick Rubin marriage may be great as far as setting up a lot of easy “99 Problems” headlines for hacky copyeditors, is this potential signing good for Columbia’s bottom line, what with the raised eyebrows about the amount of time Rubin spends in the studio?
Jay-Z’s Island Getaway [NY Daily News]
Earlier: Rick Rubin’s Magic Beard: Artistically Amazing, But Lousy With Business