Jay-Z Chats With Fans About Music, Def Jam

Def Jam president Jay-Z took time out of his busy schedule to address fan inquiries about a variety of subjects during a live online chat yesterday, touching on everything from label artists Nas, the

Def Jam president Jay-Z took time out of his busy schedule to address fan inquiries about a variety of subjects during a live chat yesterday (Feb. 15) on the Roc-A-Fella Web site.

As previously reported, Jay-Z officially welcomed one-time rival Nas to the Def Jam roster in January, two months after the pair ended their longtime feud. Though he didn't offer up specific details on Nas' new offering, Jay-Z remarked, "We start working on his album soon."

As for the status of his rumored album in the works, the artist-turned-label head simply stated, "I don't know this time about doing a new album, although I'm itching to do one. We'll see."

Explaining the genesis of the Roots signing to Def Jam Left, he related, "I've always had a friendship with [drummer] Ahmir [Thompson]. We've done a lot of work -- 'Unplugged,' different concerts. I just felt that he was the one to lead that whole Def Jam movement. He led the movement that was considered to be neo-soul. I hate that word but you know what I mean."

The Roots' label debut, "Game Theory," is due in September.

Jay-Z also addressed a litany of other topics, including:

New Def Jam signings: "We just signed Rick Ross and Slip-n-Slide [Records]."

Foxy Brown: "She just had an operation out in L.A. and hopefully within the next couple of weeks her hearing will slowly start to come back."

The death of Slum Village rapper/producer Jay Dee: "I didn't know him personally. I was a fan of his work from afar. I was talking to Ahmir from the Roots the other day about him and he told me he was the producers' producers' producer and they had made a song dedicated to him before he passed and we're gonna put that out in honor of him."

The status of Beanie Sigel: "We're working out a situation where Beans can do his own label but right now he's still signed to Roc-A-Fella."

Ne-Yo: "We're excited about Ne-Yo. We're about to have the number one single in the country with 'So Sick' and could possibly have the number one album when it comes out."

Memphis Bleek: "Bleek is doing a clothing line and possible movie."

Rumors that rapper Freeway may align with G-Unit: "Him and 50 [Cent] spoke and talked about doing some work together but he is [still] on Roc-A-Fella."

Cam'ron's "dis" record: "I think it's obvious he is just doing this for attention. I think he's killing himself so I don't feel a need to do anything at this time."

Movies: "I had a couple meetings about doing a whole Roc Films division that went great."

The status of his autobiography, "The Black Book": "I'm having anxiety about reading it so at this time I can't put it out."