All Articles Tagged "roc nation"

Set Me Free: Rita Ora Sues To Be Released From Roc Nation

December 17th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Rita Ora Sues To Be Released From Roc Nation

Image Source: WENN

Even though photos have made it seem like Rita Ora and Jay Z were pretty tight, the 24-year-old singer is not happy at Roc Nation, Jay Z’s music management company and record label.

Today, Ora filed a complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking a declaratory judgment that the recording agreement she signed in 2008, at 18-years-old, violates California law and is therefore unenforceable.


What has given Miss Ora this sudden change of heart?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’s suddenly felt “orphaned” by the company since Jay Z has been preoccupied by his new sports management business and other endeavors.

Documents submitted in the case say:

“When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist,” states the complaint. “As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”

Those other endeavors include references to Tidal. The lawsuit paints Roc Nation as a “diminished record label” with “only a handful of admittedly worthy heritage superstar artists.”


Ora’s attorneys also claim that she has been funding most of her recent television appearances, recording costs and video projects.

The suit is complicated by the fact that in 2013, Roc Nation switched their distribution from Sony to Universal. Rita has been reportedly left behind at Sony.

Her complaint states that “Rita is caught in a political quagmire of dysfunction.”

Ora hopes to use California Labor Code §2855 or the “Seven Year Rule” to get out of the contact. The Seven Year rule states that an artist “cannot be subject to a contract to perform personal services beyond seven years from the beginning of the deal.”The seven year rule has been controversial in the music industry when artists wait years before making a record.

Lastly, her complaint claims “Rita’s relationship with Roc Nation is irrevocably damaged. Fortunately for Rita, the California legislature had the foresight to protect its artists from the sorts of vicissitudes she’s experienced with Roc Nation.”

Well, this is particularly risky.

There are some pretty strong adjectives in this complaint. So much so that Roc Nation and its executives just might take offense to some of these allegations. Even if Roc Nation does decide to release her from her contract, this verbiage might inspire someone to make it very hard for her to work in the music business moving forward.

What do you think about the lawsuit? Did Rita and her attorneys go about this the right way?

Lil Wayne Says He’s Signed A Deal With Roc Nation

June 14th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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Lil Wayne used his time on stage at Oakland’s KMEL Summer Jam to announce that he has signed a deal with “his idol” Jay Z and Roc Nation. According to The Fader, it’s unclear whether he’s signed with them under a management basis or whether there will be new music coming. But Weezy has had some very public disputes with Cash Money Records, going so far as to sue the label for $51 million and saying outright that he wanted out. So whatever the deal, he sounds happy about it.

The Fader notes that Lil Wayne has joined Tidal, putting out a single through the service.

Whatever the deal, fans are certainly eager for any new music that Wayne is ready to serve up. A clip of his Summer Jam announcement above.

Wale Leaves Roc Nation, Joins LeBron James’ Management Team

August 29th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Wale bids adieu to Roc Nation, home of J.Cole, Rihanna, Meek Mill, Melanie Fiona and more, to join 77 North Management, which represents LeBron James, Billboard reports.

The Bad hip hop artist had been with Roc Nation —  an empire built by Jay Z — for five years, but perhaps Wale believes that there are greener pastures. The 77 North Management team is run by Rich Paul, Leonard Brooks, and Maverick Carter.

“Wale’s growth and maturity is clear, as he continues work on his best project to date. Its rollout has a lot to do with his new management, who have only been associated with the biggest and best brands in the world… #LeBron #Beats #JohnnyFootball,” said 77 North in a statement to Revolt.

XXL reports that Wale’s split from Roc Nation was amicable, but we’re not so convinced by that following the rapper’s Twitter beef with Meek Mill in early July:

“Wale just ain’t gone tweet a thing about my album…. He’s been hating on me long time now …don’t even text me cornball! ,” Meek Mill tweeted.

“I don’t need no support…It’s about a lot of these dudes really b hating behind closed doors..All these guys that’s on the rap scene kno,” Meek Mill continued.

Wale later responded to the caustic tweets on Instagram, saying in part:

“(Were rappers )I don’t need to take anybody shine.. Or hate on anybody . I walk in a completely different world ..”

Nearly two months later, Wale’s cutting ties with Roc Nation and joining forces with 77 North. Is it just a coincidence?

The D.C. rapper’s fourth studio album, The Album About Nothing, is slated for release this fall. So far, no official date has been announced.

Kanye Teams Up With Jay Z Again! DONDA And Roc Nation Partner

March 5th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Doesn’t it seem like Kanye West is always in the news? If not because of a controversial statement, it is usually because of a business deal. He just revealed that popular music video director Hype Williams, who directed the film Belly, will direct the film version West’s Yeezus. (Trailer here.) Now comes word that his DONDA will partner with Jay Z’s Roc Nation.

DONDA, which West describes as a multi-discipline design and content company, has inked a deal with Roc Nation to manage all DONDA Music, reports The Grio.

The partnership will focus on West’s international recording brand and worldwide touring ventures, according to a statement from Roc Nation distributor, Def Jam.

DONDA was formed in 2009 during which time West collaborated with fashion house Louis Vuitton for his own footwear collection. West “officially branded DONDA in 2011 with the groundbreaking packaging and tour design for Watch The Throne,” the statement continues.

Then in 2012, through DONDA, West introduced a cinema concept–the 7-Screen Surround Vision experience in Cannes, France with the short film Cruel Summer. The short was the visual companion to the G.O.O.D. Music album.

And in 2013, “DONDA oversaw the concept and design for West’s minimalist YEEZUS album packaging and groundbreaking global launch, including a guerilla-marketing campaign, the ‘New Slaves’ projections,” reports the website. Among DONDA clients are Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Pusha T. DONDA provided album packaging, staging, music videos and content for such artists.

Bridget Kelly On Her Style, Musical Influences, And The Moment She Realized She’d Arrived

October 21st, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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BK When you think of Roc Nation, a few people come to mind — Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna — and, hopefully, Bridget Kelly. At least that’s what the latter, and one of the newer members of the label, is working toward. The slender brunette first caught everyone’s eye in 2009 when she began filling in for Alicia Keys on “Empire State of Mind” alongside Jay Z. At the time, everyone wanted to know, in the words of Eve, “who’s that girl?” But since that time, Bridget’s come to be known not only for her vintage mezzo-soprano R&B sound, but also her raven locks — sometimes with just a hint of blonde — red lip, and killer fashion sense. Since Bridget inspires so many through her music and her style, we had to have a chat with the 27-year-old to see what inspires her musically and what’s on the horizon for her career and upcoming album, “Something Different.” Check out our Q&A from inside the Opia Lounge and Bar at Renaissance New York Hotel 57, a boutique hotel in Manhattan.

When did you know you wanted to be a singer? “There was always music in my house. My parents were really big on The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder—my dad was really big on Motown and my mother was really folky — and I was always encouraged to have my own voice from the beginning. So when I was a kid, I could get people’s attention and relate to them somehow by using my voice. And when I was 12, my dad put me in the church choir and then I went on to a performing arts school which was really the nail in the coffin for me. It was a time when I was figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be and to have the creative freedom to be who I was and express myself in front of my peers was really great for me.”

Me and Bridget

Bridget Kelly with Deputy Editor, Brande Victorian

At what point did you realize you made it? “Singing ‘Empire State of Mind’ was the moment I realized I’m here; I’ve arrived, so to speak. That was really the beginning for me. I had been signed for a year at that point and we really didn’t know what we wanted to do, and at that point I was going through a really bad breakup when I went on tour with Jay [Z] and I experienced really early on the heartbreak people describe when your professional life starts to skyrocket and your personal life goes to s**t. At the time I wanted to make an angry music album. I said just give me a rock guitar and I’m going to set everything on fire and all the girls are going to love me. But as I was gradually writing and recording more, I felt so much more soulful and I realized I couldn’t just be the angry girl who hurts people. I had to talk about being hurt, and so in the songwriting and recording process I did a lot of soul-searching and some of it was not pretty or stuff I wanted to talk about on this album, but I would’ve had to front if I did something different. So I just stuck to my guns and put it all out there.”


What ‘Chu Say Boo? Caption This Pic Of Dame Dash And Jay Z Rekindling Their Bromance

August 8th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Dame Dash Jay Z

Is hell freezing over!? Is it 1999??

Just kidding! See, folks are capable of putting their differences aside when the spirit moves them to, and it looks like that’s what has happened between Jay Z and Damon Dash. The two were seen shooting the you know what at a party for industry exec Chaka Pilgrim, Dash in a white T, Jay in a denim button-up looking straight out of Cali. After years of talking about one another in interviews (more Dash talking about Jay than the other way around), and not being in the presence of one another for years, they were able to chat and take a picture together. As Jay said in a recent interview about Dash:

“The thing, what we built, you can’t take that away so no matter what, no time or space — the love is still there. Because what we’ve done will forever be stamped in history. We created something that’s gonna go down forever. So I can only have love for Dame. I just don’t know where we are in our life, we’re not the same two men at that time when we gelled in that way. We were two different people. I haven’t seen him in a while.”

Definitely a good look, and also an adorable one. So how would you caption the above pic? And be sure to check out the cute one below and let us know what you think. The Roc is in the building!

Dame Dash Jay-Z

Show Him The Money! Jay-Z Is Now A Licensed Sports Agent

June 21st, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Add sports agent to Jay-Z’s already diverse resume. The rapper-turned-entrepreneur has now officially become a licensed sports agent for NBA and MLB players.  And he can work for his newly created sports agency, Roc Nation Sports.

Roc Nation Sports spokesman Ron Berkowitz confirmed to ESPN that, as of this week, Jay-Z is now licensed to work as an NBA agent. Juan Perez, president of Roc Nation Sports, has also been certified with the National Basketball Players Association. (Perez and Jay-Z are longtime business partners. In addition to the sports agency, they co-own the 40/40 Club.)

MLB Players Association spokesman Greg Bouris further confirmed the news to  ESPN.

There might bee a hold up for Jay-Z to actually start working as an agent. The hip-hop mogul had not sold his small ownership share (less than one percent) of the Brooklyn Nets, reports ESPN. Jay-Z will have to give up his share of the team in order to sign players  because owners of NBA teams cannot represent players.

Despite this Jay-Z already has clients. According to the sports outlet (and us), Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is expected to sign onto Jay-Z’s agency. The NBA player reportedly informed his current agent, Rob Pelinka, that he would sign with Jay-Z.  Jay-Z’s firm has also signed New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and ex- Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins. Also in the works is New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who last week accepted a one-year free-agent tender offer of $2.879 million.

All these signings may spell trouble for Jay-Z.  NFL Players Association officials are looking into if Jay-Z, who is still not certified with the NFL, violated the union’s “runner rule.” According to this rule, anyone who is not certified cannot recruit players. So Jay may have been a little overzealous, but something tells us they’re not going to make too much of a stink about it.

Jay-Z’s Got Game: Rumors Swirl That Kevin Durant Is The Latest To Sign To Roc Nation Agency!

June 8th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Kevin Durant pf"


This roster Jay-Z is putting together is becoming chock full o’ big names and at a rapid pace.

NBA superstar and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant has ended his relationship with Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports Agency and is reportedly about to sign with Roc Nation Agency, according to USA Today.

Pelinka released the following statement regarding the split:

“We are honored and blessed to have worked on behalf of Kevin, for a brief period of time,” Pelinka said. “He is an amazing person and athlete, and we are proud of our work and service towards advancing his brand in a manner that reflects the mutual qualities we share with Kevin. We wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors.”

Durant moving to Roc Nation could be an interesting move.  One could make the argument that he doesn’t need an agency with a famous owner because he already has huge endorsement deals (Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Panini, General Electric and 2K Sports).  However, he’s still not as globally known as he could be and aligning himself with Jay-Z could be good for him, as Jay is known pretty much everywhere.  I suppose for Durant it helps that Jay is one of his favorite rappers.

It should be noted that while Roc Nation is a “boutique” agency, they are partnered with CAA, a huge sports agency, so they would definitely have help in making his brand even bigger.

We’ll see who they pick up next. Maybe if they definitely add Durant to the roster, it’ll be leverage for Jay to lure Lebron James from his agent who is also a childhood friend (which I doubt because James makes outside money from that agency).

We’ve Got Our Eyes On You: Jay-Z & Roc Nation Agency Under Investigation For Signing NFL Rookie Geno Smith

May 26th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Agency is picking up clients every time you turn around. But he recently gained a client in the NFL and that is raising many eyebrows.

Geno Smith, a rookie quarterback picked up by the New York Jets during the NFL draft, recently signed to the Roc Nation Agency. The signing immediately raised eyebrows and there are reports suggesting that this was not on the “up and up.”

According to Yahoo! Sports, Smith almost immediately fired his former agents, Jeff Nalley and Erik Burkhardt of Select Sports Group, after he fell out of the first round of the draft and was selected 39th overall.  Players do sometimes part ways with agents when things like this happen, thinking that they aren’t doing their jobs. However, its what happened next that has Jay- at the center of yet another investigation.

Smith then signed with Kimberly Miale, a lawyer who only has two “B list” sports clients. This is a little odd because although Smith may have dropped out of the first round, he is still considered a major force to be reckoned with during the 2013-2014 NFL season; in fact, he’s fighting for the starting quarterback position against Mark Sanchez.  So one would think that he might want a stronger agent, right?


Representatives of the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) have decided to investigate to see if Jay-Z was directly involved in negotiations with Smith. In 2012, the NFLPA banned the use of “runners,” which are people without appropriate credentials used by agencies to recruit potential clients.  Jay-Z doesn’t have any of those credentials and many are wondering if Miale was basically used as a smokescreen while Jay is the real negotiator.

Adding fuel to the fire is John Thornton, an advisor to Smith. He said that he was in the meetings and “Jay-Z connected with him on so many levels.” Of course, he says was misquoted.

A rep for the Jigga man says he was not involved in negotiations and was in London while all the meetings were happening.

It’s obvious why many athletes, especially a young rooke like Geno Smith, would want to sign with Roc Nation Agency. Jay-Z has crossed over into so many facets of business and is able to gain marketing and sponsorship for athletes as soon as they want to diversify. He’s still totally connected to the music world and many find that life appealing. Plus, he’s still seemingly a really cool guy that people like to be around.

It’ll be interesting to see what the outcome will be of the investigation. There’s been no word on what the fine or punishment is if it is found that Jay-Z and Roc Nation agency broke the NFLPA rules.

Is He Even Back From Cuba? Jay Z’s Roc Nation Announces A Global Deal With Universal Music Group

April 8th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Wasn’t he just walking around Cuba celebrating his fifth wedding anniversary? Oh well. Business is business.

Jay Z’s Roc Nation has announced a multi-year global deal with Universal Music Group (UMG)  such that Roc Nation will run as its own, standalone label. That means albums from Jay Z, Rihanna, and other artists will be released under the UMG umbrella.

“Not only does this agreement provide a dynamic platform for Roc Nation’s exciting emerging artists, it extends our relationship with the extraordinary Rihanna and represents a homecoming for JAY Z-a brilliant artist and entrepreneur, who has been a creative cornerstone of our company,” said Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG in a press release statement. We might not notice too much difference, but on the back end, it means backing from a huge company.

Meanwhile, we’re also hearing that the Made In America Festival will be returning to Philadelphia August 31 to September 1. We see a trip to Philly in our future! Last year, acts included Kanye West, Pearl Jam, and Drake.