Jay-Z: Mark Lennihan/AP
Gary Susman
December 09, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

As if there had been any doubt, Jay-Z is now the hardest-working retiree in show business. The retiring rapper has accepted a job as president and CEO of Def Jam, hip-hop’s biggest label, as has been expected for more than a month. Along with signing him to a three-year contract worth $6 to $8 million in salary, Def Jam has also agreed to buy the rest of Jay-Z’s own Roc-A-Fella Records label (it already had a 50 percent stake) for $10 million, the New York Times reports. ”I think it sends a great message out to artists,” the 35-year-old told the Times. ”If you put enough work in and pay attention, maybe one day you can run a company.”

The artist formerly known as Shawn Carter gave a hint of what his management style will be like. He told the Times that his first act as CEO would be to sign comeback-seeking rapper Foxy Brown. He also suggested that, as a performer, he’ll offer a more sympathetic ear to the label’s musicians than they might get from someone with a pure business background. ”That I’m the president of the company may take some getting used to for some artists,” he said. ”But I don’t want to say I’m their boss. I’d rather say I’m their consigliere.”

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