Last May, Live Nation made deals with Jay-Z, U2 and Madonna in an attempt to transform from a concert-promotion giant into a multimedia behemoth.
The rapper inked a reported 10-year, $150 million deal with the company. As part of the pact, Jay would be provided funding for business ventures, which he’s already taken advantage of by partnering with producers Stargate to launch the label StarRoc. Other benefits of the deal include Live Nation having a hand in the Roc-A-Fella star’s recordings and tours for the next decade. (Live Nation later recruited Shakira and Nickelback into the fold with deals as well.)
But with Jay-Z reportedly still under contract to Def Jam for one more album, where does that leave Live Nation in the equation for the upcoming Blueprint 3? The rapper has already been touring heavily in the past year with a number of Live Nation-owned venues included as stops.
So MTV News asked Jay-Z earlier this week exactly which label his next album will be released on.
“Well, whatever it is, it’ll be Roc Nation. It’s gonna be a partnership with someone,” he said. “So whether it’s going to be Def Jam or someone [else], that’s yet to be determined.”
Since debuting, the rapper has released an album every year from 1996 through 2003, when he announced his retirement from making solo LPs. When he reversed course, Jay released 2006’s Kingdom Come followed by 2007’s American Gangster, his last release to date.
He recently told MTV News the delay in delivering BP3 is due to him having no quotas to meet. It’s not clear if any negotiations between Def Jam and Live Nation are standing in the way. But to hear Jay’s take on it, the album could have easily been released by now.
“I don’t have any quotas, and that’s a good thing,” Jay said. “It may be too freeing. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. You know, I think I need some restrictions. ‘Cause if I had restrictions, I would have done it in three weeks. I would have made what I believe to be a great piece of art.”