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11.16.06 11:33 AM

Much Ado About Jay-Z

Jay-Z, president and CEO of Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella Records, has become a universal brand in the past year. And don't think that any of it was by accident either. In fact, it's highly likely that it was a well-planned strategy, focused on creating hype for the hip-hop mogul's return to the rap game. On November 21, he'll release a two-disc deluxe set, "Kingdom Come," his first solo studio album since his retirement in 2003, and he's not relying on YouTube or MySpace, as other music artists have done recently, to garner sales. In fact, just three days before the album ships, Jay-Z plans to board his private jet and hit seven cities to perform 30-minute shows within 24 hours. Cingular is on board to sponsor the spectacle, and MTV will air a 30-minute highlight special once the tour ends.

The tour is just the latest hurrah in a year-long marketing play that has endeared Jay-Z to more than just hip-hop aficionados. (read more)

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