Shawn Carter, known to most as the superstar rapper Jay-Z, has been appointed president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings.
He will continue to run Roc-A-Fella, the label he started with Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, and which Island Def Jam has acquired in whole.
Carter starts the new job in January and will report to Antonio “LA” Reid, chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group. Island Def Jam, whose roster includes LL Cool J, Ja Rule and Ashanti, is owned by Universal Music Group.
Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella is home to Kanye West, Beanie Sigel and Cam’ron. He stirred up some commotion when he announced that his “Black Album” would be his last.
The possibility that Carter would land an executive suite job at either Universal or Warner Music has been bandied about since the summer. Former Def Jam chief Lyor Cohen now runs Warner Music Group.
He has expanded into a number of other fields, including a clothing line (Rocawear), films (“Fade to Black,” “Backstage”), a New York nightclub (40/40 Club) and a successful sneaker line (Reebok’s S. Carter shoe collection). He is also an investor in the group that has purchased the New Jersey Nets and will be relocating the team to Brooklyn.
“Shawn has proven himself to be an astute businessman, in addition to the brilliant artistic talent that the world sees and hears,” Reid said.
Island Def Jam Music Group has acquired the remaining 50% of Roc-A-Fella Records that it didn’t previously own. In 1997, two years after Roc-A-Fella was founded, Island Def Jam bought a 50% stake for $1.5 million.