Jay-Z Buys Out Def Jam Contract, "Blueprint 3" Heads to Roc Nation

May 21, 2009 5:40 PM ET

Jay-Z confirmed to Rap Radar he is now "a completely independent artist" after buying out the remainder of his contract with Island Def Jam for a reported fee of $5 million. With the move, Jigga is now free to release The Blueprint 3 on his new Roc Nation label, the product of the 360 deal he signed with Live Nation in April '08, instead of Def Jam, who were owed one more Jay-Z album before Jay could officially join Roc.

"I can honestly say, working with [Island Def Jam's] Doug Morris and LA Reid has been a unique and fulfilling experience and I respect them immensely. I've been in the family for almost my entire career," Jay — or Sinatra as Kanye calls him — told Rap Radar. "Doug and I spoke directly and had one of the most unique 'negotiations' ever. Doug won the toss but, we both won in the end. I thank him for allowing me to be a completely independent artist. Not every artist can say they own or are given the opportunity to own all of their music." Jay wouldn't elaborate on the coin toss negotiations, and official word that Jay now owns all of his past catalog wasn't announced.

With Blueprint 3 bound to Roc instead of Def Jam, we may finally get some news about the album in the coming months. Jigga started working on the album with Kanye West in 2008 following the release of American Gangster, and the LP was originally on Def Jam's release schedule for Winter '08 before completely disappearing off the map. Songs like the Oasis-inspired "Jockin' Jay-Z," the Santigold-sampling "Brooklyn Go Hard" and the hit "Swagga Like Us" were all reportedly destined for Blueprint 3 before the album's delay.

Related Stories:

Jay-Z and Live Nation Near $150 Deal, New Record Label
Jay-Z Plots Intimate Summer Tour With Live Band, Ciara
Jay-Z Previews New Oasis-Inspired Track at Kanye West's MSG Show

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