Jay-Z is trying to set sail from Island Def Jam.
A source very close to the hip-hop mogul confirms he is in negotiations to jump to rival Columbia.
Other insiders say the arrival of Jermaine Dupri as president of the Island Urban music division in February is the reason.
"There isn't room for two kings at one label," says a source. "Why would Island bring in another power-hitter urban guy?"
Dupri's main squeeze, Janet Jackson, followed him to Island two weeks ago. And Columbia is the home of Jay's girlfriend, Beyoncé.
The fact that Jay would take with him ownership of his own master recordings makes him an attractive hire. And Columbia co-chair Rick Rubin has lately been shaking up his label's A&R department.
"He's creating a supergroup of staff," a second source explains. "So it would make sense that he would want Jay on his side."
Columbia and Island Def Jam did not comment yesterday