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.