News: Jay-Z's Roc Nation Looks To Motown For Biz Model

Friday, May 22, 2009 3:40PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

After Jay-Z confirmed reports of ending business ties with Def Jam Records this week, the rapper's Roc Nation company is now reportedly set to follow Motown's iconic business model.

While Jigga has yet to confirm his next plan of action for the company, information revolving around Roc Nation has begun to emerge.

As Roc Nation, Jay-Z's new home under the Live Nation umbrella, takes shape, the hip-hop superstar has reportedly bought back the last remaining record on his IDJ deal for what some say is a whopping $5 million. Will Roc Nation employ a traditional distribution channel or take the LP direct to retail? Roc Nation handles a sizable roster of emerging producers and songwriters, who can be plugged into recording projects in various combinations on a full-service basis. According to those in the know, Jay Brown, Roc Nation's creative mastermind, envisions the company as ultimately bypassing outside entities altogether and doing everything in-house, signing acts, making records and distributing them in whatever way they see fit; a setup modeled on Berry Gordy's original Motown. (Hits Daily Double)

Jay confirmed reports regarding his Def Jam buy-out Thursday (May 21) afternoon.

"I can honestly say, working with Doug Morris and LA Reid has been a unique and fulfilling experience and I respect them immensely," Jay said in an interview. "I've been in the family for almost my entire career. Doug and I spoke directly and had one of the most unique 'negotiations' ever. Doug won the toss but, we both won in the end...I thank him for allowing me to be a completely independent artist. Not every artist can say they own or are given the opportunity to own all of their music." (Rap Radar)

Gordy is most known for being the founder of Motown Records.

Gordy did what many people of his time believed could never be done: he brought Black music into millions of White Americans' homes, helping both Black artists and their culture gain acceptance, and opening the door for a multitude of sucessful Black record executives and producers. Though the music of Motown was not as raw or edgy as other R&B labels, such as Chess and Stax, the songs that were written, produced, and released from "Hitsville USA" comprise some of the most enduring, sophisticated and popular music of our time. Influential artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Smokey Robinson were all discovered and their talents fostered by Berry Gordy. (All Music)

The rap mogul launched Roc Nation around Apirl 2008.

Jay-Z is on the verge of closing a $150 million deal with concert promoter Live Nation that includes every aspect the rapper?s future touring and recordings. As part of the partnership, Jay-Z will also launch an entertainment venture called Roc Nation. This will finance future start-up ventures by Jay-Z including his own label, music publishing, and artist consulting and managing. (New York Times)

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