Rapper Nas has signed with Def Jam, according to a New York Times report, creating a unique joint venture with his current label, Columbia. When contacted by Billboard.com, representatives from both c

Rapper Nas has signed with Def Jam, according to a New York Times report, creating a unique joint venture with his current label, Columbia. When contacted by Billboard.com, representatives from both companies refused comment. The news comes days after rapper DMX left Def Jam for a multi-album deal with Sony Urban Music, details of which were exclusively revealed by Billboard.

Def Jam and Columbia will jointly market two albums, according to the Times. Sources tell the paper two additional albums for Def Jam are part of the deal.

The stage for Nas' move was set when he and Def Jam president Jay-Z ended their longtime feud in late October during New York radio station Power 105.1's Power House concert at New Jersey's Continental Airlines Arena.

Nas is working on a new studio album but it is unknown how far he's progressed. Black Eyed Peas leader will.i.am told Billboard.com last week he was about to begin recording with the rapper, and it is understood Jay-Z will contribute to the project in some fashion.

The set will be the follow-up to 2004's "Street's Disciple II," which has sold 687,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In his 11 years with Columbia, Nas' catalog has shifted 12 million units.

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