Jay Electronica Chooses Roc Nation Over Bad Boy: Right or Wrong Move?
by Yvette Travillian
Jay Electronica – Exhibit C
So the big news of the weekend was the signing of Jay Electronica to Jay Z’s Roc Nation. On Friday night Jay Z hosted an exclusive event at NYC’s The Box titled “Jay-Z Invites You to an Evening of Magic: Experience The Turn” where everyone from Beyonce to Jay Electronica’s mother were in attendance to help the nicely suited up New Orleans MC celebrate his big move to the Roc.
The news was met with immediate congrats from celebs and fans alike via twitter but it soon became pretty obvious that there was a certain famous ‘uber twitterer’ who was suddenly unusually quiet. This obviously being Puffy aka Mr. Tweet himself. When he finally emerged to comment, the twitterverse was surprised to to see the emotional message he put out that could have been directed at either Jay Z or Jay Electronica:
So why all the dramatics from the mogul? Apparently Puffy had been in talks to sign Jay Electronica to his Bad Boy/Interscope record label for over a year. In Diddy’s mind it was pretty much a done deal so he was completely blindsided at the news of Jay Electronica going to Roc Nation. But what he didn’t know was that Jay Z was also peeping the dope MC and after a chance meeting between the two at Jay Z’s West Village eatery, The Spotted Pig, it soon became obvious to Electronica that he had a much better chance at success over at The Roc rather than with Bad Boy – whose roster for the most part seems to be unknown to many. (*cue in Biggie’s ‘soon as he buy that wine I just creep up from behind’ verse from “Big Poppa”)
It was pretty much a no brainer move for Jay Electronica. Puffy undoubtedly is a successful business man but his need to wear many many hats, (one of them being an entertainer himself) has definitely affected his ability to focus on being the respected label boss he once was in the 90’s and early 2000’s (although ‘respected’ can certainly be debated). Bad Boy is now considered by many to be a graveyard of some sorts; a place where talented artists go to dig a spot for their final resting place – because the odds of them succeeding with Puff are slim to none. Although Janelle Monáe has respectively given the label a much needed boost. Diddy also wears the hat of artist manager and has seen success with managing Rick Ross but has reportedly just lost Nicki Minaj to music industry vet Benny Medina.
Roc Nation however is slowly becoming the label/entity to watch. Its artist roster so far includes J. Cole, Willow Smith and Jay Z and it also acts as a management company overseeing the careers of artists such as Rihanna, The Ting Tings, Wale and Mark Ronson; producers like No ID and Lab Ox; and DJ’s like D Nice, Samantha Ronson and Solange. Surely this list is destined to only grow longer in 2011.
Although Jay Electronica is still riding the indie wave and has yet managed to fully crossover, he has shit load of talent and potential to be one of the hottest MC’s out (“Exhibit C” anyone?). He is entering Roc Nation with a very respectable catalogue and if he sticks to his script hopefully he will have no problem reaching the top. And with Jay Z promising that his first official Roc Nation album will drop sometime during the1st Quarter, it appears that we will not have to wait long to see what’s next. I think Diddy (who I can’t front… I have a serious soft spot for) needs to understand that business is business and it is a known fact that he has pulled many shady moves on many people in his lifetime, so the best thing he can do is get over it and move on.
But what do you guys think? Was Jay Electronica wrong for breaking his verbal deal with Puffy? Should he not have gone with Jay Z? Will this put a permanent dent in Puff’s relationship with Jay Z? Weigh in and let us know your thoughts.