According to CNN, Universal Music Group is close to a deal to buy out the rapper and producer Jay-Z and his partners from their venture, Roc-A-Fella Records, a published report said Monday. The New York Times, citing people involved in the negotiations, said Universal Music plans to bring the entertainer into its executive ranks by naming him president of the Def Jam Recordings label. Universal Music, a unit of Vivendi (V: Research, Estimates), is expected to pay about $10 million to unravel the partnership in Roc-A-Fella, which has provided the music label with a series of platinum-selling hits, most recently Kanye West’s “College Dropout,” the paper said. The deal with Universal Music may seem impossible after Jay-Z announced earlier this year that he is retiring from making albums. But the rapper has made this proclamation many times before. If Jay-Z plans to record new music, he would be under contract to release it through Universal Music, but he is free to strike a deal for the creation of a new start-up label or take an executive post with any music company, the Times said. At the moment, Warner Music Group, a rival of Universal Music, is also pursuing the singer/producer, the report said. Universal Music and Roc-A-Fella weren’t available for comment. Warner Music declined to speak about its interest in the artist.
Anyway, here are some tracks.