It looks like it’s the end of a dynasty.
After 10 years of releasing some of hip-hop’s most influential records, Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke have sold their remaining 50 percent stake of Roc-A-Fella Records to its parent label, Island Def Jam, a Def Jam spokesperson said.
The imprint was sold for $10 million, according to reports. As part of the deal, Island Def Jam will retain the entire Roc-A-Fella roster, including multiple-Grammy nominee Kanye West (see “Kanye Scores 10 Grammy Nominations; Usher And Alicia Keys Land Eight” ), Memphis Bleek and Beanie Sigel.
Jay-Z has also been named president and CEO of Def Jam Records. As part of the deal, Jay will continue to run Roc-A-Fella. There’s no word yet on whether or not he will be launching his own imprint, S. Carter Records, under the Def Jam umbrella.
As for Dash, it’s not clear what his next move will be. However, the consummate businessman had said a few months ago that selling the label was something he was open to (see “Label Home Of Kanye, Jay-Z Closing? No Way, Insists CEO” ).
Jay, Dash and Burke recently renewed their contract with Def Jam for a reported $20 million. They brought Roc-A-Fella to the label in 1997 and sold the initial half-stake to Def Jam at that time for $1.5 million.
Roc-A-Fella Records launched in 1994 as an independent label. Its first full-length release was Jay-Z’s 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt.