Marcy projects bred rapper turned mogul, Jay-Z, has entered into a multi-year, worldwide partnership with his Roc Nation music label and Universal Music Group.
Under the new deal, Jay-Z will bring his Roc Nation artists, including Rihanna, and will operate as a standalone label within the UMG family, effective immediately.
Several other labels, including Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, made moves to try to lock down Jay-Z and the Roc Nation imprint although Jay-Z ultimately picked UMG for an undisclosed amount.
“We are looking forward to working with Lucian and the incredible team he’s assembled at Universal. We would like to applaud Lucian for collaborating with us to strike a new age deal. This agreement presents a unique opportunity for Roc Nation’s artists-being able to continue to operate as an independent label with the strength, power and reach of the best major. I look forward to a long and prosperous collaboration with UMG. It feels good to be home.” Jay-Z said in a statement to the press.
While the terms of the agreement were not disclosed, sources say Warner executive Lyor Cohen made a play for Jay-Z as part of a deal that would sign the Brooklyn bred mogul to his own firm.
Jay-Z’s signing to the world’s largest music company, led by Lucian Grainge, comes on the heels of Jay-Z allowing his last long-term recording contract with Universal’s Def Jam to expire.
In making the announcement, Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, said, “In just five years, Roc Nation has established itself as one of the most successful brands in music with a reputation for developing some of today¹s most influential and popular talent. 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. All of us at UMG are thrilled that JAY and Roc Nation chose UMG as their partners, knowing we will support their artists with a level of resources, expertise and passion that is simply unmatched in the industry.”
Founded in 2008, Roc Nation is a full-service entertainment company, inclusive of artist, songwriter, producer and engineer management; music publishing; touring & merchandising; film & television; new business ventures; and a music label.