Last Saturday Jay-Z invited the media to a special event at New York City nightclub The Box to tell the world he signed Jay Electronica to Roc Nation. His surprising announcement was followed by the unveiling of Jay Elec’s new song, aptly titled “The Announcement.” Sure, artists have made records in the past declaring their new label affiliations but it’s been a while since XXL has 1) been this excited about a new major record deal and 2) had to hit the rewind button so much. Hova didn’t call J.E. 'a wizard' for nothin’—this dude goes deep for just a simple song sayin’ he’s now down with the Roc.

So borrowing from the title of the Brooklyn legend’s new book, it’s time for “The Announcement:” Decoded, difference is, this piece of literature comes with footnotes. Sharpen your pencils, folks, there’s gonna be a pop quiz after this, ’cause Elec just took y'all to school. —Jesse Gissen


Prelude — JFK (1): “Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserve the best of all mankind. And its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why some say the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other thing. Not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

Jay Electronica:
My view is aerial/Your crew inferior/My crew imperial/MC Killers/Milk & Serial (2)/Get it?/Forget it./You’ll still be connecting the dots with smoking holes in your fitted/Those that got it be all at the shows throwing fits its/The light from the Dynasty sign (3) froze all of the critics and nary a soul got on they frog toes to ribbit/Shhh…Twas the night before the coming/Sugar plum candy coated lines for the dummies/Decoded hieroglyphics in the shrines for the mummies/We’re not illuminati but our eye is on the money (4)/My minds on the scripture/It’s beautiful/I see every line on the picture/So when the leaves rustle and the cock crowes (5) winter/Just know that the Black Gods mingled a bit/Then the fingers got pricked (6)/Then the single got picked/Man, I’m living out my brain I don’t dream about shit/If I say dream, I meant dream; fresh not hampton (7) /I got a date with destiny I’m definitely not cancelling/Romancing/The Stone (8)/The Roc (9)/The Throne/The Elegant Celebration sends tremors through every nation/The stars aligned like cars at grand central station/Elevation/Yours truly/My duty in obligation/The newly appointed ruler who moved with no observation like W.D. (10) /Say my name on a record: W.W.III/I’ll put you niggas in a box like the WB (11)/Here’s a footnote (12) on the Blueprint (13)/Whoms fucking with We?/Yeah/Bad grammar/Widescreen panorama/Paranormal activity (14) seen on the camera/Uh Huh/So if you want that turmoil/I’ll Twitter Facebook YouTube Worldstar you/Rap Radar Nah Right 2dopeboy you/Your plans is foiled/Your guns is borrowed/We living in tomorrow/A tissue for your sorrows…


Sample of President John F. Kennedy's speech from September 12, 1962 at Rice Stadium. This serves as the epigraph to Jay Elect's song - providing the essence of what he's trying to accomplish with signing with Hov. All the way to the moon, Alice.

2. Play on words, as in, he’s eating you other rappers like cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer




6. Reference to the initiation ceremony in order to join the mafia – in this case being Roc Nation

7. dream hampton: hip-hop journalist who helped Jay-Z write Decoded

8. Romancing the stone is a phrase used by jewelers that refers to a step in preparing a gem for use in jewelrey.

9. Roc Nation

10. Shouts to the God Cee7, we were off on original reference. Elec was actually speaking about Wallace Fard Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam.

11. Reference to the now defunct WB TV network that used to be known for having a lot of shows geared towards the African American viewer. In this case it’s a play on words saying he’ll put his opponents in a coffin.

12. Get it, forget it

13. Referring to Jay’s classic 2001 album, The Blueprint