Live Nation and Jay-Z are on the verge of closing a major partnership that involves the rapper and entrepreneur's future touring and recordings.
The roughly $150 million deal will include financing for his new entertainment venture, Roc Nation, as well as the rapper's own recordings and tours for the next 10 years, the New York Times reported today (April 2).
Jay-Z, who is expected to record his final album via Def Jam this year, could launch a new label in Roc Nation, as well as music publishing, talent consulting and management companies, the paper said.
Live Nation will reportedly contribute $5 million each year in overhead for five years and offer $25 million to finance Jay-Z's external acquisitions and investments. Roc Nation will split profits with Live Nation, according to the paper.
Details are still being worked out, but the deal is expected to finalized shortly, sources confirm to Billboard.biz.
The first fruit of the deal is the Live Nation/Haymon Events-produced Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige tour, dubbed "Heart of the City." The trek began late last month in Miami and runs through May 8 in Uncasville, Conn.
Jay-Z will also reportedly receive a general advance of $25 million upfront to cover the cost of the "Heart of the City” trek, and Live Nation will contribute $10 million per album for a minimum of three albums within the deal's term. Jay-Z will also receive another $20 million for other rights including, but not limited to, publishing and licensing, according to the paper.
Last December, Jay-Z announced that he would step down as Def Jam Records president when his contract expired at the end of 2007. Earlier that month, in an interview with Billboard, Jay-Z said any decision about his future with Def Jam would not be "about money."
"It's really about trying to invest in the future, trying to invest in maybe coming up with a new model," he said. "Because going in hard making records with artists and throwing those records into a system that's flawed is not exciting for me."
Jay-Z is still signed to Def Jam Records as an artist, and still owes one more album to the label. The rapper's most recent album, "American Gangster," has sold approximately 1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
This is the second huge deal of the week for Live Nation, which on Monday inked a 12-year deal  with U2 to manage its touring and merchandise. However, that partnership does not include rights to the band's recordings, which remain with Universal.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Live Nation chairman of the board and CEO of Live Nation Artists Michael Cohl says that the deal was similar to the previously announced Madonna deal  (valued at $120 million), in that there was some money paid upfront and that LNA would share in the profits and will be "substantially and materially involved" in all pertinent rights' revenue streams.
Additional reporting by Ray Waddell, Nashville