News: Jay-Z Goes From 'Marcy To Barclays' In First-Ever Rocawear Commercial, "My Goal Was To Have One Gold Album & That Was It" [Video]

Monday, Apr 2, 2012 5:00PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

After weeks of speculation, Jay-Z's rumored involvement in a Rocawear commercial is indeed true as the rap mogul has premiered a new "Marcy to Barclays" television spot on his Life and Times website today (April 2).

The 31-second Rocawear commercial features Young Hov reflecting on his rags to riches story.

The first ever Rocawear commercial is a retrospective of Shawn "JAY Z" Carter's journey as a kid growing up in the humble projects of Brooklyn aspiring to make music and eventually making history. On that journey, the first business beyond music was the birth of Rocawear. Carter's Rocawear brand represents his prowess as a business man who continues to challenge himself to be more than merely a musician. "My goal was to have one gold album and that was it," says JAY Z in the spot. "And then it became, I want to show that an artist can ascend to the executive ranks." Ultimately it has been JAY Z's ability to inspire his customers that has afforded Rocawear over 10 years as the number one brand in its' space. JAY Z continues, "Rocawear just keeps reinventing itself and redefining itself every single day." #Marcy2Barclays (Life and Times)

Despite the ad's glitz and glamour, Rocawear has experienced tough times in recent years.

As familiar as he is with success, some would argue that Jay-Z's Rocawear venture has ultimately been a failure. The urban clothing line, which launched over a decade ago, has seen its fair share of hard times. But perhaps none have been more devastating than this past winter, when a global sales decline of $500 million caused the company's Manhattan store to lay off half of its 56 employees. (Billboard)

Reports of Jay's involvement on a Rocawear television spot hit the Internet in early February.

Jay-Z, 42, is lending his A-list status and will star in the brand's first-ever television campaign. Filmed in November, the spot will begin to air on outlets including MTV, BET and TNT, most prominently during NBA basketball games. "Titled 'From Marcy to Madison Square,' the black-and-white spots track Jay-Z's rise from selling CDs out of the trunk of a car in the Marcy Projects of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to headlining concerts at Madison Square Garden. The spot uses footage from Jay-Z's 'Watch the Throne' concert at MSG in November," WWD writes. (Us Magazine)

Back in January, the company laid off a portion of its New York-based staff workers.

Rocawear -- the hip-hop clothing brand founded in 1999 by rapper entrepreneurs Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Damon Dash -- laid off half the staff of its men's and boys apparel division on Jan. 6, one day before Jay-Z's wife, Beyoncé Knowles, gave birth to the couple's baby girl. Rocawear's New York headquarters -- a 40,000-square-foot facility at 1411 Broadway where Jay-Z took an office in 2009 -- fired 28 of its 56 workers for "economic" reasons, according to documents filed with the New York State Department of Labor. Jay-Z, formerly a "big presence" in the office, rarely shows up anymore, an insider told The Post. "It's kind of like he's given up on the brand," the source added. (New York Post)

Check out Jay-Z's Rocawear commercial below:

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