Jay-Z Signing with Epic?

Jay-Z Signing with Epic?
Well, Jay-Z's tenure as an independent artist might end as quickly as it started. As we reported last week, Hova has bought himself out of his Def Jam contract, leaving him a free agent. However, Billboard is now reporting that the rapper is getting close to a deal with Sony's Epic Records.

Apparently, the deal is "95% complete", and will see Jay's Roc Nation fall under Sony's distribution arm. "He definitely didn't want to release his album via Def Jam," a UMG source told Billboard. "And given his close relationship with [Columbia Records co-chairman] Rick Rubin, it comes as no surprise that he'd make the switch... It will be a distribution deal, sort of like [how] Star Trak is distributed by Interscope, and it will be on the Epic side, not Columbia."

While this announcement quashes our wildest dreams of an indie Jay-Z signing to, say, Matador Records, it does mean that the day is drawing nearer where we'll get to hear The Blueprint 3. The album, which has been in the works since last year, has a hefty amount of Kanye West's production.

"Jay is in control of everything in his domain," Kanye recently told MTV. "He's just been working on it, and it's gonna be amazing when he drops it. We actually removed all the songs with Auto-Tune, to make the point that this is an anti-Auto-Tune album, even though I released an album that has all Auto-Tune!

"It doesn't matter to me. It's music; it's just sonics."

Okay, whatever, just hurry up and finish the Sony paperwork so we can hear the album, Jay.