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Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Partners with Universal Music Group

Prince Williams, Getty Images

Jay-Z’s fledgling management firm/record label Roc Nation is partnering with Universal Music Group in a multi-year deal, it was announced today (April 8).

“We are looking forward to working with Lucian [Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG] and the incredible team he’s assembled at Universal,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “We would like to applaud Lucian for collaborating with us to strike a new age deal.”

The partnership will likely allow Roc Nation to retain a great deal of autonomy while releasing album’s and other projects through the largest of the three major record labels.

“This agreement presents a unique opportunity for Roc Nation’s artists – being able to continue to operate as an independent label with the strength, power and reach of the best major. I look forward to a long and prosperous collaboration with UMG. It feels good to be home.”

By home, Jay means Universal, the parent company of Def Jam, which he was once the President of and also signed to, by way of Roc-A-Fella Records. Jay’s previous deals for Roc Nation, signed back in 2009, included distribution through both Sony and Atlantic Records, respectively.

Last week, Jay announced that Roc Nation was getting into the sports management business, setting up an agency in partnership with Hollywood powerhouse agency CAA. Its first confirmed client is Robinson Cano. Victor Cruz is allegedly also about to sign up as well.

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