At this point, it should be pretty clear that Jay-Z is one of hip-hop's most talented artists, but his recent business dealings prove that the emcee-turned-entrepreneur understands this music industry better than most. In a time when records sales are on a constant decline while concert ticket prices continually increase, Jay-Z, who's known for selling out the world's largest arenas, is preparing to ink a deal with live events giant, Live Nation, according to the New York Times.

The rapper, who's spent the bulk of his career as an artist -- and eventually president -- at Def Jam Records, is abandoning his contract with the label for a $150 million package with Live Nation that includes financing for his own entertainment venture, in addition to recordings and tours for up to 10 years. The package will also include a five year, $25 million deal for the mogul's own Roc Nation imprint.

Not only is Jay-Z's contract with Live Nation a lucrative one, to say the least, but the rap giant's deal could change the rules of the music industry. "If the [ex] president of Def Jam decides it's time to get off the sinking ship," an unnamed producer who's worked for Jay-Z told TIME, "everyone else is going to start figuring out how to follow." While there aren't many other artists with the ability to garner such a deal and "jump off the ship," Jay-Z may have found the solution to the recent problems artist have encountered with declining record sales. Instead of expecting fans to purchase CDs in the popular age of file-sharing, give the fans something they can't refuse: a live show.

Jay-Z's current venture with Live Nation is his 28-date tour with R&B diva Mary J. Blige. The outing has already proven to be a big hit with sold-out shows and seats going for anywhere from $50 to $500.

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