The allure of rappin wit bul, is always too much for em to ever ignore! Despite history, logic, wisdom, facts, reasoning, evidence, and a whole bunch of other irrefutable examples in music, rappers CONTINUE to sign with Jay-Z. A rapper himself who has NEVER produced a platinum selling rapper EVER! Beans got close (850K), Bleek got close (925K), but NEVER EVER has an artist under Jay-Z crossed the million sales mark (I’m not giving him Kanye! NOPE). Despite all this evidence tho, rappers continue to place their careers in the balance by signing on the line that is dotted. After 15 years in the biz they still haven’t quite realized that being the best rapper DOES NOT make you the best executive.
Our most recent examples are J. Cole and Jay Electronia. Artists who generated major buzz for themselves via mixtapes and undeniable street records respectively. And with almost every label clamoring to sign both of them, what did they do??? Commit career suicide! Let’s skip the pleasantries and say this “their albums will never see the light of day with a Roc Nation logo on them.” The reasons why vary, but simply fall under two large categories:
1. Jay-Z doesn’t give a fuck about other rappers
2. The intimidation factor
Looking at reason 1, its quite simple. Jay-Z doesn’t give a fuck about other rappers primarily because he still is one himself. A super fuckin petty and competitive one at that. At the end of the Roc-A-Fella run both Freeway and Beanie Sigel were slated for 4th quarter releases in 2007. At the time, Jay was coming off the critical thrashing of Kingdom Come and seemed as if he had no interest in getting back to rapping. 4-5 weeks prior to Freeway’s scheduled release in November (after seeing American Gangster the movie) he decided he was going to release an album IMMEDIATELY. Immediately meaning a week before Freeway. There was very little ramp up on this album and no single selected until they went to mastering. But what this showed was that despite his claims of semi-retirement Jay was still dead-set on being the man and the damage he did in standing directly in front of Freeway and Beans was tremendous to their careers. Here was big brother checking in at the 4th quarter and taking lil brother’s shine AGAIN. Much like he did in taking all Beans records from 1999 and turning them into “The Dynasty” album. Which at various times in the recording process was first a Beans solo, later a compilation, and in its retail form a Jay-Z solo album.
The second reason is a tad more latent which is “the intimidation factor.” And its not just relegated to the new recruits. With Jay constantly having to reinvent himself to stay relevant I think there is a shadow of doubt cast upon him every time to see if he can do it again. With that said, when the opportunity presents itself to have a hot record he has to jump on it, move people out the way, and throw artists under the bus in order to get to it. Let’s look at his history: “Give It To Me” was a Sparks record, “Throw Ya Hands Up” was a Beans record, “Kill At Will” was a Beans record, “Real As It Gets” was a Jeezy record, and the list goes on and on. Point is dude will do any and everything he can NOT TO FAIL. On the flipside, the thought of rapping with/for the greatest rapper ever scares the fuck out of these rappers and they stop doing what got his attention in the first place. J. Cole has released #StruggleRap after #StruggleRap in hopes of catching a wave and since Jay Elec signed he’s dropped maaaaaybe 3 verses. Yeah 3 TOTAL! There’s gotta be something said about having to turn in your music to the greatest rapper ever and have him critique it. I’m sure its some nerve wrecking shit.
My advice to you rappers out there is THIS: if you have even a glimmer of a promising career DO FUCKIN NOT put it in the hands of Jay-Z, John Meneilly, and the folks at Roc Nation or whatever fuckin label they start up next. I mean u see what Wale did and HE’S MANGED BY THEM!!! The moment he got out his contract with Interscope (that RN negotiated) he signed with the BAWSE! So do yourself a big favor, avoid a J’s fate and sign with somebody real!