Synonymous with each other, Jay-Z and Def Jam have mutually represented one another as they have risen to the apex of this rap game. As their flagship artist, Hova was thrust into the spotlight and burdened with the responsibility of fronting the “Major of Major’s” ; Def Jam Records. Between Russell’s business savvy and Jay-Z’s business flow, the match was lit, and the fire tore through the rap game for about a decade. I personally take a lot of shit for jocking Hova to the extent that I do. I don’t know why, but it’s always puzzled me. For me (and apparently others) it’s Jay-Z’s mixture of street lore with product consistency that has garnered and retained my patronage. Recently Jay-Z took the position as President of Def Jam Records, making a few wise moves (Rihanna), and a few nonsensical ones as well (Lady Sovereign). Many of us, myself included, envisioned a “sky’s the limit” scenario whereby Hov would be able to engage with his fan-base via the marketing of new up and comers at Def Jam bearing the Jay-Z stamp of approval. Well, less than 2 years later Jay-Z has decided to hang up linen suits and the Def Jam office that went with it.
He will get hated on for this decision, many will slander and attempt to undermine his “gangsta” or possibly even claim “sellout” status. But I don’t sweat that chicken coup talk, the reason why Jay is doing this is because he signed a 100 million dollar deal with Live Nation to do the whole high profile act on tour/recording thing. The agreement with Live Nation also included a new joint record label imprint, called Roc Nation. Jay-Z has also been working on a new album, titled The Blueprint 3 and expected for release later this year. And the same people who sling their shit on Hova this time around will be dripping in hypocrisy sweat. Doubters who said Jay-Z became a non- rapper because he IS a businessman, will now say that he still isn’t a rapper because he WAS a business executive. Hater’s don’t get it, this shit is business, it’s not personal, squash that emotional orgy.