Jay-Z Affirms He Won't Sell His Masters
In recent years, an increasing number of artists have opted to sell their music catalogs and master recordings for substantial sums. Notable figures like Future, Iggy Azalea, John Legend, and Metro Boomin have all hopped on this trend. However, one prominent artist stands firm against parting ways with his musical legacy: Jay-Z
During his interview on CBS Mornings with Gayle King, Jay-Z revealed the steadfast reason behind his decision to retain ownership of his master recordings. At the 7:11 mark in the video, Jay explained, "I get why people do it. I’ve been fortunate to make money in this place. But for me, it was the fight of my life. From being an independent company from the beginning, and then going through the Def Jam system, not really understanding how that works and them having my masters, then going back to Def Jam as the President, and then saying, ‘Okay, I’ll do this job, and part of this job is: my masters have to revert back to me.'"
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He did, however, present a hypothetical scenario in which a fortunate investor could acquire one of the most lucrative music catalogs in the industry: it would be a decision made by his children.
Having assumed the role of President at Def Jam Recordings in 2004, Jay-Z orchestrated a deal where he, along with Roc-A-Fella Records co-founders Dame Dash and Kareem Burke, exchanged their remaining interest in the label for control over both companies. Jay held the position of President until 2007, formally resigning on January 1, 2008. Following this, he founded Roc Nation in 2009, kickstarting a business empire that propelled him to the historic milestone of becoming hip-hop’s first official billionaire.
Beyond discussing his music, Jay-Z also addressed light-hearted subjects in the interview, including memes about his dance moves and the age-old conundrum of choosing between a dinner with him or a substantial sum of $500,000.