"That's pretty much just for this specific album. Roc Nation -- we're experts in marketing and making records. But we do distribution deals," he says. "On this one, we're working directly with the Atlantic staff, which is Julie [Greenwald], Lyor [Cohen], Kevin [Liles] and Kyse [Mike Kyser]. For the rest of the Roc Nation artists, we did a distribution deal with Sony."
Jay-Z also told Billboard he originally approached Def Jam with the same distribution deal idea four years ago, but was shut down. "You have to figure, this is like four years ago, and to them it was just like, 'Are you crazy? No! Make a song!'" he said. "To me it was like, I've sold companies for huge amounts of money. I'm an entrepreneur -- that's what I've been all my life. I can't just sit here and make records and not do anything else. Why wouldn't you want to do this with me? I felt under-utilized."
When his Def Jam contract was nearing expiration and he had one last album to release with the label (in this case, "Blueprint 3"), Jay-Z opted to buy himself out of the contract for a reportedly $5 million price tag.
In related news, Jay-Z, who performed during this year's BET Awards on Sunday (June 28) released the video to his "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune)" video after the show, as part of BET's post show. The clip features guest appearances from Lyor Cohen, head of Warner Music Group which houses Atlantic Records, basketball player Lebron James and actor Harvey Keitel.