News: Jay-Z Clears Air On Roc Nation Deals, "I Can't Just Sit Here & Make Records"

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 11:54PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Jay-Z recently revealed the details behind his Roc Nation deal with Sony, his Blueprint 3 album distribution with Atlantic Records, and how he was initially turned down by Def Jam for the same proposal.

In addition to speaking on his deals, Jay explained why he opts out of only being an average rapper.

"Sony is Roc Nation," Jay said in an interview. "That's where Roc Nation's going through. [With Atlantic,] that's pretty much just for this specific album. Roc Nation -- we're experts in marketing and making records. But we do distribution deals. On this one, we're working directly with Atlantic staff, which is Julie [Greenwald], Lyor [Cohen], Kevin [Liles] and [Mike] Kyser. For the rest of the Roc Nation artists, we did a distribution deal with Sony...You have to figure, this is like four years ago [when I approached Def Jam with the same deal idea] and to them it was just like, 'Are you crazy? No! Make a song!' To me it was like, I've sold companies for huge amounts of money. I'm an entrepreneur -- that's what I've been all my life. I can't just sit here and make records and not do anything else. Why wouldn't you want to do this with me? I felt under-utilized." (Billboard)

Jay spoke with radio personalities Funkmaster Flex and Mister Cee earlier this month about his departure from Def Jam.

"I'm ready, I got the foundation and I'm ready to blast off. I'm pretty much at the launching pad right now. I bought my album back, I overpaid for it because I believe at this point in my career, you know, I wanted to be totally independent and free. Def Jam and Universal did a beautiful thing, they let me pay, they overcharged me a little bit, but I appreciate all the years they put into my career...I'm working with Atlantic, they gonna distribute the album. They're doing a fantastic job and by the way, I get a chance to connect with the people I started my career with." (Miss Info)

Reports earlier this year said Jay paid around $5 million to be released from Def Jam.

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 Island Def Jam deal for what some say is a whopping $5 million, raising a number of intriguing questions. How does the album figure into the plans of Roc Nation's brain trust, which also includes the A&R-savvy Jay Brown and Tata, as well as Jay-Z's business manager John Menielly? How will it be marketed and distributed? Will Roc Nation employ a traditional distribution channel or take the LP direct to retail? (Hits Daily Double)

Jigga later confirmed the buy-out and explained why he made a monumental business move.

"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)

The Blueprint 3 will reportedly be released Friday, September 11.

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