Former Aftermath exec will head Big Ego imprint.

Sony Urban Music and Columbia Records have inked a production and label deal with Mike Lynn. The Los Angeles-based Lynn was Dr. Dre's right hand man at Aftermath Entertainment for nearly 10 years. As part of Lynn's deal, he will run his own imprint, Big Ego Entertainment, which will go through Sony Urban/Columbia.

"Mike's work with artists such as Eminem, 50 Cent and the Game has helped establish him as a major force in the world of rap and hip-hop," says Lisa Ellis, Sony Urban Music GM.

Lynn will work primarily with Ellis and Columbia Records Group chairman Will Botwin and Columbia Records president Steve Greenberg.

"During his years with Dre at Aftermath, Mike played a key role in the development of some of the most important artists working today, while at the same time, building up strong relationships throughout the business," said Greenberg in a statement. "With this new alliance, Sony Urban and Columbia will benefit from an increased presence on the West Coast, as well as Mike's unlimited dedication to his artists, and true passion for music."

In other Columbia news, the label continues its A&R expansion with the hiring of former manager and Atlantic A&R executive Nick Castinelli. New York-based Castinelli, who is a senior director of A&R, reports to Greenberg.