My own Jay-Z exclusive

I might not be able to call one of Jay-Z’s weed carriers and have him email a CDQ version of Jay-Z’s meh new “DOA (Death of Auto-Tune),” but here’s a couple of exclusive tidbits about it I managed to come up with anyway.

1) The real reason Roc Nation is signing with Epic, rather than a more legit label like Warner Music Group, or Island Def Jam, is because the woman who runs Epic, some songwriter, is managed by the same guy who manages Jay-Z. Hence, he’ll probably get a sizable fee both from Jay-Z and from the songwriter woman. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of kickback to Jay-Z, though I’m not sure how that would work. But why would he agree to a deal like this, if there wasn’t anything it it for him personally, only his manager?

Also, whether or not this constitutes any sort of conflict of interest is beyond me. You guys know I was pre-med. The TIs must approve of the deal – otherwise it would never go through. The only people I see really coming up short in this are the artists. Epic doesn’t have a very strong track record of promoting rappers, and that’s probably because they have no ability to. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why the Blueprint 3 will be released through Atlantic, rather than Epic. It’s gonna be the same thing as when Jay was president of Def Jam. He won’t spare any expense to promote his own album, but those clowns on Roc Nation are gonna be fucked. Mark my words.

2) Jay’s still going at iTunes, on the TIs’ behalf. You’ll recall that, a few years ago, Jay let the TIs talk him into not selling American Gangster on iTunes. Then they had Jermaine Dupri go on the Huffington Post (this was back before Global Grind was allowing celebrities to come on and shill) and explain that this was because the album was too much of a masterpiece to listen to a track at a time. Of course, the real reason was that the TIs were pissed that Steve Jobs was taking too much of a cut of each copy sold, and they were thinking about coming up with their own iTunes, to… um, share more of that money with the artists.

Fast forward a few years later, and, wouldn’t you know, Jay’s still taking shots at iTunes. One of the very first lines is about how the song isn’t for iTunes, as if iTunes has anything in particular to do with beta male rap. You can get good music from iTunes, right? I’m pretty sure I read on P-fork that you can get the new, rereleased version of Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus there. Of course, I wouldn’t know. Who’s got the money to pay for music these days? Anyhoo, I wonder if this means the TIs are back beefing with iTunes. Or could it be that it’s just been a while since Jay’s been in the studio, and no one bothered to tell him that was over and done with? One sign that it’s the latter will be if the Blueprint 3 is sold in iTunes. But if it is, it could just be that it’s not enough of a masterpiece.

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  • Pierzy

    Byron, pretty good investigative journalism (ha?). But, considering you think BP3 is going to be a shit sandwich, I feel that you’re giving it an awful lot of attention. Of course, other rappers have been given loads of attention and it didn’t matter <>

    • Avenger XL

      If Jigga doesn’t write something of substance soon it may well be a shit sandwhich. who needs a 40 year old mans club anthem with T-Pain after anouncing the death of T-pain to excite the internet stans and those 3 guys who bought Joe buddens album (epic Fail in the making). But of course the lemmings in our society that buy this ish don’t know from good music so they will buy Jay Z the brand because it is cool no matter how mediocre the release is.

      • Tony Grand$

        Whadup P & AXL

        Lmao @ Avenger!

        Yeah, for the most part, Jigga(boo…sorry, had to) has been there & done it all.

        He’s conquered(?) The club anthems, grimy hip hop, storytelling, braggin’ & boastin’; there’s not a lot left. I’m curious to see what direction his going to take, but @ the same time, yelling “Fuck Auto-tune” isn’t really new or inspirational.

        He should open a franchise of hat stores, for all the old rapperes that will be losing their hair in the next few years.

        Cool J, anyone?

        • Detroit P

          He’s conquered(?) The club anthems, grimy hip hop, storytelling, braggin’ & boastin’; there’s not a lot left. I’m curious to see what direction his going to take, but @ the same time, yelling “Fuck Auto-tune” isn’t really new or inspirational.

          This is how rappers get worse..the mind has limits just like the body..He’s the Mike Jordan of rap…but Mike has to retire from the league eventually…he already used that Recession\Depression line on Jockin jay-Z.

    • Truth serum

      The album is going to be mediocre, you can tell by the street singles. But it is going to do some decent numbers because brand Jay-Z is much doper i.e. sharper than were he is as an emcee these days. I think he is getting like 50 losing his passion slowly but don’t know how to quit this juve culture. Who wants a club anthem from a 40 year old rich guy??? No soul, little substance but his brand is hot right now.

  • Avenger XL

    Great post Bol. I don’t think Jay has another masterpiece in him. But he was the king of self promotion from the start givng Weezy his blue print no pun intended.

  • geico lizard

    “One of the very first lines is about how the song isn’t for iTunes, as if iTunes has anything in particular to do with beta male rap.”

    Damn Bol if you are calling Jay-z a beta male in that quote you can expect to be in his next version of “Takeover”. He just found out his wife makes more money than him and is more powerful in the music biz and now you have come along and kick him while he is down. If Jay-z is a beta male what the hell does that make Nas now that kelis is divorcing him and questioning his sexuality?

    • Smel

      He’s not callin Jay a beta-male, he’s saying iTunes has nothing to do with the beta-male rap Jay’s criticizing in the song.

  • Dr Flav

    I tried to send you something through the facebook last week Bol relative to this, basically it all ties into Sony and Sony is a part owner of ATV Music Publishing, ATV is also 50% owned by Micheal Jackson. If you check the “worlds most accurate encyclopedia,” and click on the artist’s link at the bottom you will see that this company basically owns publishing for some of the most popular artists on these airwaves today, including his “wailing yokel” of a wife, Beyonce. Other notables include the media’s self proclaimed rap savior Eminem, Akon, Coldplay, Florida…the list goes on and on. I found out this info from a homie of mine who was debating with a cat on whether Micheal Jackson is broke.

    Micheal Jackson basically owns a whole lot of these artist’s, lest we not forget The Beatles catalog, hell they cant even make a Beatle autobiographical movie without paying the man.

    Just my .02

    • DetroitDraper

      My biggest question is how does these artist allow their work to become more or less owned by someone else?…I couldnt imagine how that would feel. I mean music is directly from you its your art and for someone to own a percentage especially a large one of your creation has to hurt. Guess its just bad buisness decisions.

      • $ykotic

        There’s big $ in publishing. Like TV reruns.

      • Bobo D

        I spend most of my time on wikipedia so I’m going to try regurgitate what I read about a year ago. Basicly owning your publishing you have to deal with the rights of lending your music to other media and getting the money, which is a big job. So that’s why they are these companies such ATV to deal with that. The other reason is that if you where to own your publishing as a individual the taxes on that are killer.

        Basically that is why The Beatles gave the publishing to some company. Paul McCartner told Michael Jackson that his been making millions on publishing. The Beatles catalog went up for sale. Michael Jackson outbid Paul McCartner, now they ain’t friends

        • Tony Grand$

          Damn, talk about credibility issues….

          Who gets out-gangsta’d by Michael Jackson?

        • $ykotic

          Paul McCartney. That’s why he’s skipping around making iTunes commercials. Sad.

          like how MJ’s “kids” have no traces of melanin whatsoever.

        • Tony Grand$

          So, Mike Jack is about to cake off of this video game coming out.

          Maybe he’ll buy all his shit back.

  • Dr Flav

    I tried to send you this bit of info through a Facebook note last week. (if you find that note, dont be spreadin my Government name please)Roc Nation is going to Sony, because first of all Jay Z publishing is owned in part by Sony ATV publishing, ATV is half owned by Micheal Jackson. ATV holds publishing for Akon, Eminem, Beyonce, The Beatles, Florida, Rick Ross… basically Mike gets bread from most of the popular artists in the industry. Check the “world’s most popular encyclopedia” aka wiki and search ATV publishing and click the artists listed. MJ will never be broke.

  • Dr Flav

    My bad I got an error when I sent the first post and lost my initial entry.

  • Domjel

    It seems to me that you will always find Lyor in Jay-Z’s mix. After all, he just replaced Dame by becoming a silent business partner/leader.

  • latino heat

    why do people keep forgetting that American Gangster was less than 2 years ago, and not “a few years ago” as Bol said? and most people agree that shit was bangin. fans that think that a artist has fallen off because they have not been on t.v. every 10 minutes for the last year or so are the reason hip hop is flooded with so many b.s. mixtapes and You Tube videos, that just lead to hip hop becoming even more watered down. let the man go away for a minute and actually put in time and effort on his project and come back with a actual quality album. something most artists know nothing about these days.

  • $ykotic

    Jay will be the first rapper to do old head Vegas shows. Watch.

    • Tony Grand$

      Cosign $yk

      @ worst, he’s giving us an album full of music that doesn’t feel natural [||], @ best, he’s further cementing his legacy in Hip Hop music.

      He’ll have a dressing room between Cher & Celine Dion.

      “A yo Be, ask Cher if I can get some of that Tea she be usin’. Niggas chops is a lil parched from tonight’s show, nahmean….”

      • $ykotic


        Or her guest singing the chorus to “Jigga My N*gga”…

        With clothespins holding the skin on her bony ass.

        • Tony Grand$

          She’ll be re-animated by the staff @ Walt Disney studios.

        • Arcey

          Y’all dudes is funny but at the same dime, I ain’t getting younger, so I’m cool with the idea that 15 yrs from now, I MIGHT still be able to enjoy Hip Hop without shame and/or feeling out of place

        • $ykotic

          Don’t get it twisted! I’ll go on the bus ride and get my buck back in chips to go see the shows! LOL

          Besides the way the game is now, it might only be 5 years.

          He’s setting us up already with the Lawrence Welk-ish tracks…

        • Tony Grand$


          Jokes aside, I can see him there. I wouldn’t doubt it @ all.

  • Azhar

    Bol,I still think u got a man crush on Jay!!!

    But anyway i feel if the deal makes him and his manager money thats good right? And as far Epic not being a legit label because it doesn’t promote rappers, well what if the label and the man considers himself more than just a rapper..I personally beilieve he doesn’t want his artists feeling like the artists on Def Jam did… I mean he was the biggest artist on the label, so his cd did the best….Luda, Jeezy, Kanye, Ne-yo, Rihanna, Redman, Ghostface didn’t have a problem, because he pretty much let them do their own thing, some of them sold some of them didn’t but when certain artists (LL, Mef, etc…)shit flopped it was his fault. I remember reading that he told L not to put that J.Lo single out and he did anyway n brickcity is what happened. So he’ll release his shit on Atlantic let them do the promotion n all that…Roc Nation will be on Epic and that promotion will be seperate from mines… no conflict right? There are plenty of artist that don’t release their music on itunes when it first comes out, thats business, if other artists could afford to do it i’m sure they would… So i don’t get what all the hate is about… Fcuk it maybe its just me..whatever roll up baby!

  • EmCDL

    Don’t really know what to say about all of this honestly…haven’t even heard that DOA song yet LOL. But I’m not necessarily looking forward to the album either, especially if it doesn’t sound as good as his older stuff. I think his last good album was American Gangster and that was off the strength of the actual film that helped its sales at that.