Apple starting record label with Jay-z and Beyonce?

We’re working hard to confirm this right now, but several sources seem to be pointing towards the same exciting piece of news: Rapper Jay-Z and and singer Beyonce are in talks with Apple to establish a record label. The rumors place the deal as either close to closed or already executed, with an impending announcement on the horizon. Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Matthew Knowles (Beyonce’s father) will chair the label. If true, this could bring unprecedented power, legitimacy, and experience to Apple’s music division. Whoa! While we would love to believe the hype, the rumor is a bit dubious. Jay-Z is currently the CEO of Def Jam records, arguable the biggest urban music label in the world. Would he leave this position of power and prestige? We’re not sure, but we’d like to think so. Odds are that this new label, if it comes to fruition, would be a formidable force in pressuring the industry as a whole to change their entire business model from one based primarily on physical distribution to one with a significant emphasis on electronic sales. Could this be the push that the industry needs, or is this Apple getting a bit ahead of themselves and biting off more than they can chew? We’ll wait for official confirmation before taking this too far, but it’s never too early for speculation, right?

UPDATE: Straight from Def Jam and Beyonce’s label Music World Entertainment, we’re gonna’ have to smash this rumor and put it to rest for now. A source directly involved with both parties who wished to stay anonymous told us, "This is the first I’ve ever heard of any of this" and "for the time being this is a rumor." There ya’ have it — smashed!

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