Who's the most popular man in the music business? It would appear to be Beyonce's husband, Jay-Z. As you know, ever since he decided not to re-up as president/COO of Island Def Jam at the end of 2007, we knew he wasn't long for hanging his shingle at IDJ's parent company Universal Music Group.
Then, he signed a deal with concert promoter Live Nation worth upwards of $150 million that included the rights to his future tours and other entertainment ventures.
In the meantime, "Blueprint 3," his new album that he just allegedly bought back from IDJ for $5 million, will come out through Live Nation or WMG's Atlantic or Sony's Epic... depending upon who you believe.
Billboard says that a Sony distribution deal for Roc Nation is "95%." Remember, Beyonce records for Sony-distributed Columbia, so they may want to keep it all in the family.
But today, the New York Daily News reported that Jay-Z is talking to WMG about starting the Carter Music Group to release his own albums, according to MTV.com. However the Daily News speculates that "Blueprint 3" would come out through Epic with subsequent Jay-Z projects on Atlantic. If he pacts with WMG, that reunites him with his former Def Jam cronies, Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles
In the meantime, whichever label releases "Blueprint 3," the album's producer Kanye West, says to look out. "It's gonna be amazing when he drops it," West told MTV.com "I think it's good he's taking his time to give people the best product possible and not being rushed by this fast-food, media-outlet, Internet, everything-is-getting-leaked, people-stealing your-songs-before-you-can-mix-them-and-put-them-online world we're living in right now." West added that all auto-tuning was taken off the record.
No release date for "Blueprint 3" has been set, but we bet it will be rushed through the pipeline as soon as a deal--wherever it may be--is completed.