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(Rick Ross poses with Wale, DJ Sam Sneaker, Masspike Miles, Torch and others)

Rick Ross is “bringing his talents” (and his Maybach Music roster) to Warner Brothers Records!

On Friday night, Ricky Rozay performed at the Dwight Howard x Adidas party, kicking off this weekend’s NBA All-Star madness. But insiders tell me that less than two hours earlier, the MMG Bawse and WBR’s bosses finalized a multi-year deal that will bring Rick Ross, and his MMG artists Wale, Meek Mill, Masspike Miles, Torch, etc. to the home of Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, Curren$y, Kandi Burruss, Jason Derulo, Green Day, Josh Groban, My Chemical Romance, etc.

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In the past few months, there’s been some intense speculation about where Rick Ross would land after he finishes his Def Jam obligations. Most “experts” said Ross would sign with his consigliere Diddy and Jimmy Iovine over at Interscope Records. Others assumed that Ross would follow DJ Khaled over to Cash Money Records/Universal, where Ross already has a strong relationship with Birdman. But instead, Ross will build his own legacy at Warner with Lyor Cohen, Todd Moscowitz, and Joie Manda (Congrats, guys!). and The decision makes sense if Ross wants to be the centerpiece of the banquet, not just one of many hot plates ; )

Ross still has at least one album (if not more) remaining on his Def Jam contract, including his upcoming God Forgives, I Don’t album (see: “Rick Ross feat. Drake ‘Made Men'”). But I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a Maybach Music Group compilation album in the works soon. Either way, this could signal the end of a 5-year relationship between Ross and Def Jam that’s produced 4 albums (Port of Miami, Trilla, Deeper Than Rap, Teflon Don).

So, why didn’t Rick Ross re-sign with Def Jam? And does Diddyhurt when breathe” today? More on this…
also, watch DJ Khaled talking about Rick Ross’ deal…
and Rick Ross’ post-signing performance…
after the jump

Could Rick Ross’ decision to break ties with Def Jam have to do with the label’s pending merger with Universal? In the reorganization of Universal, Island Def Jam, and Interscope, Def Jam’s current head L.A. Reid may leave…and there are rumors that former Def Jam exec and current 50 Cent manager, Chris Lighty may be brought back in. Given Ross’ contentious past with 50 Cent (see: “Exclusive: Rick Ross addresses 50 Cent”), that would be an uncomfortable arrangement. (But I actually think the relationship between Rick Ross and Def Jam started changing back in the summer of 2010, when Teflon Don was released.) It will be interesting to see how Diddy reacts to Ross’ decision to go to WMG, this being the 2nd of his “mentees” to decline him and Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope offer. After Jay Electronica signed to Roc Nation, Diddy expressed his frustration via twitter. (see: “Exclusive: Jay-Z announces “A new wizard in the game…Jay Electronica is officially Roc Nation!”)

Update: lol, ItsTheReal remind us that evidence of the Rozay x WBR deal was in this hilarious parapazzi footage of Ross leaving Mr. Chows/LA with Joie Manda and Todd Moscowitz just last month. But most of the focus went to Ross’ other dinner companion that night, actress Elise Neal.

Last Friday when I spoke to DJ Khaled at the Grammy rehearsals, the bidding war for MMG was at a peak….so in this clip, Khaled and I discusses what Ross wanted from his new business partners.


DJ Khaled talks Rick Ross with Miss Info at the Grammy Awards rehearsals.


Rick Ross performs at Dwight Howard x Adidas’ All-Star party, right after signing his MMG/WMG deal.

Related:
New Videos: Rick Ross “Ashes To Ashes”, plus WAX, & Torch feat. Busta Rhymes
Rick Ross’ 2011 NBA All-Star L.A. Vlog (Episode # 1): Food, weed, headphones and sneakers
New Music: Rick Ross feat. Meek Mill “Perfectionist” (CDQ), plus Donny Goines, The-Dream and T.I.