While Jay-Z continues to build his Roc Nation empire with recent additions of Jay Electronica and 10 year-old “Whip Your Hair” hitmaker Willow Smith, rap veterans dead prez are not hopping on board.
Clearing up speculation that dead prez are nearing a Roc Nation deal, group member M-1 addressed the gossip.
“We respect Jay, but we are not signing to Roc Nation,” M-1 said in an interview. “I’m a fan of what Roc Nation has been doing. I’m a fan of Jay-Z’s music and more than that I’m a fan of his mind…the way that he has positioned himself to make great moves in this business. I’m not one to think that our independence can be usurped by this great hype and potentially great machine that Jay is putting together…Just from watching that situation I see that [Roc Nation] are building themselves to be a formidable opponent to the Young Money‘s and other labels. But I believe that we can take advantage of working with artists like Jay and Jay Electronica without giving up our rights to being whoever we want to be independently–which is really important to us right now.” (VIBE)
Details on the rumored partnership emerged on multiple blogs last month.
DEAD PREZ ON ROC NATION? Now this is a rumor I don’t think the world is ready for. But, that is what a birdie told me in a kite. What do you think? Here is the song they did together a ways back. I remember when “H*ll Yeah” remix song was a rumor in the rumor mill. I been doing this too long! (All Hip Hop)
In November, Jay officially announced the signing of Jay Electronica.
Another “Jay” has been added to the Roc Nation roster. It was announced yesterday (Nov. 12) that New Orleans rapper Jay Electronica signed with Jay-Z’s personal imprint, joining acts J. Cole and Willow Smith at the recently formed label. And to celebrate, Jay-Z threw a lavish party at New York club The Box that neither Jay E, nor anyone else in attendance, would soon forget. The event — which kicked off at about 10:15 pm and drew head-turning guests like Beyonce and Omarion — was a three-ring circus that included sexy burlesque dancers, an aerial gymnast, a Russian hula-hoop master and a girl whose “talent” was having men shoot arrows at balloons that were strategically positioned over her privates. (Billboard)
Last October, producer Sean Garrett talked about joining Roc Nation, a company which also recently signed Willow Smith and Rihanna.
“I’m so misunderstood when it comes to the music man,” Garrett told VIBE less than 24 hours after announcing his signing to Roc Nation/Columbia. “I’m not afraid to say that I’m a true genius with my craft. This isn’t something I do for the money…I think I’m the modern-day Lionel Richie. I just want my fans to really know who I am and get to know me from the inside and out. You’ll be seeing a lot more of me on your TV–not just in music videos. Right now, it’s time to open myself up to the world…Roc Nation understands that my movement is way bigger than just my deal. The only thing that I could have asked for is an opportunity, and that’s what I was blessed with. Jay’s building a new Dynasty and it feels like family to me. No matter how much success I’ve had, I’m still humbled by the opportunity to still be creative and just be myself.” (VIBE)
Check out dead prez & Jay-Z’s “H*ll Yeah” remix down below: