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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
1/15/2004 10:08:51 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Jay-Z.

It seems that Damon Dash and Jay-Z aren't as Roc solid as they once were. The dynamic duo may be calling it quits on the Roc-A-Fella empire.

The New York Post reported Wednesday that hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is looking to form his own company. Jay-Z, who has made the "Black" album his final album wants to focus on outside business ventures and is presently in talks with Universal Music's Island Def Jam label about financing the new venture, according to the Post's sources familiar with the matter. Island Def Jam also houses the Roc-A-Fella label.

Initially, the new company will be for Jay-Z's business ventures outside Roc-A-Fella, such as a sneaker deal with Reebok, a ring-tones deal with Nokia and tours. But, Jay Z plans to build the venture into a broader entertainment company and record label, according to the Post's sources. The venture between the two should be completed within the next two to three weeks.

Jay-Z and Dash, the CEO of Roc-A-Fella, don't quite see eye-to-eye on the direction of their company. The disharmony between them led to speculation within the music industry that they would break up the company. But Roc-A-Fella will probably remain steady for a while longer because the duo has a standing contract with Island Def Jam which will keep the company together at least a little while longer.

The Post's sources say that the friction between the two stems from Jay-Z's belief that Dash is more interested in being a star himself than being behind the scenes, which has caused him to overshadow their artists. In addition, Dash is pushing forward into movies and Jay-Z has not approved such a move. Last year Roc-A-Fella produced the film "Death of a Dynasty," a satirical look at the hip-hop world, which debuted at the TriBeCa Film Festival.

Jay-Z and Dash founded the company approximately eight years ago. In 1997, Roc-A-Fella sold a 50 percent stake to Island Def Jam for $1.5 million and now the company reportedly has about $500 million in annual revenue, as reported by the Post. In addition, the deal gives Island Def Jam the option to buy the 50 percent of Roc-A-Fella it doesn't already own in the summer of 2005.

In 1999, they launched Rocawear, which is a top urban fashion line with revenues of close to $300 million a year, according to published reports. Roc-A-Fella is also part owners of Scottish vodka Armadale. Dash also said he plans on launching a magazine, called "America," that focuses on fashion and music.

A spokesperson for Dash said, "As far as Damon's concerned, Roc-A-Fella remains intact. There's no tension."

A representative for Jay-Z said, "There is no friction. Jay and Damon have been diversifying. Damon has been focusing on movies, and Jay on music." A Universal Music spokesperson declined comment. A source said the two recently vacationed together in St. Barths.

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