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What an interesting Christmas gift to hip-hop…

Courtesy of New York Times

After a three-year turn in the corporate suite, Jay-Z said Monday that he would step down from his post as president of Def Jam Recordings, one of the world’s best-known record labels.

Jay-Z is not revealing his plans after he leaves Def Jam Recordings, but he will continue to record for the record label.

Jay-Z made the announcement with Def Jam’s parent, Universal Music Group, as his employment contract was expiring. Under a separate long-term recording contract with Def Jam, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, still owes the company one or more albums.

Jay-Z’s exit from the executive role comes after Universal, a division of Vivendi, declined to renew the contract under more lucrative terms he sought, according to people briefed on the talks, who requested anonymity because the negotiations were confidential. Under the deal that is expiring, Universal was to pay Jay-Z in the range of $10 million over the course of the contract, if he hit certain financial targets.

Jay-Z offered no hints at his future plans. “It’s time for me to take on new challenges,” he said in a statement. (more…)

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