Jay-Z Leaves Def Jam

May 21, 2009

Jay-Z has officially parted ways with his home base for more than a decade, Def Jam. This morning, Hits Daily Double reported that Shawn Carter, who owed Def Jam one last album, bought himself out of his contract for $5 million.

This afternoon, Jay-Z contacted RapRadar.com and confirmed his exit from the legendary hip-hop label:

I can honestly say, working with Doug Morris and L.A. Reid has been a unique and fulfilling experience, and I respect them immensely. I've been in the family for almost my entire career. Doug and I spoke directly and had one of the most unique "negotiations" ever.

Jay said that negotiation included a coin toss. "Doug won the toss, but we both won in the end," Jay said. "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 started his own record company, Roc Nation, and has been working on the Blueprint 3 with Kanye West since 2008.

Source: Peter Kramer/Getty Images

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