Experts Discuss Jay Electronica Joining Roc Nation

By Erika Ramirez

For hip-hop fans, Jay Electontrica’s announcement that he’d joined Jay-Z’s Roc Nation on Friday (November 12) was a day of celebration—exception for one man.

“Damn it hurts in a whole other way when someone you felt and I mean really felt was your Friend, Betrays you. It hurts when [I] Breathe,” Diddy tweeted on Saturday.

Jay Electronica’s underground buzz caught Diddy’s attention in 2009. Rumors of a Bad Boy deal started to spread as Diddy stopped through Electronica’s performances, added adlibs to “Exhibit C” and was reportedly in the studio with the New Orleans MC. The pair even went in on a 48 hour fast together. But all of those friendly rumors withered on Friday and Diddy seemed to be the last to know. The announcement was such a surprise that Erykah Badu, mother to Jay Elec’s daughter Mars, even tweeted to Diddy personally.

“@iamdiddy I’m sorry.” Badu wrote.

Now, Electronica has joined the heavy Roc Nation roster, which boasts Willow Smith, J.Cole, Rihanna to name a few.

As an artist, there are pros and cons to signing with Jay-Z instead of Diddy. RapFix turned to the experts for their opinion on Jay Electronica’s move to the Roc instead of Bad Boy and their predictions for the new signee’s future.

“Diddy is a great guy to have all in your video, but career longevity is the only thing he’s never been able to give his artists,” says Brendan Frederick, Deputy Editor of Complex. “Jay Electronica is a harder sell than your average, so he needs a label for the long haul. Roc Nation is new and untested, but they seem to be choosing their roster shrewdly. Willow Smith is already tasting success on the pop side, and between J. Cole and Jay Electronica, Hov seems committed to breaking super-lyrical rap into mainstream. It’ll be exciting to see if they can pull it off.”

LowKey, founder of YouHeardThatNew, thinks Diddy should “toughen up. This is business, not personal. He of all people should know that. This industry has no true friends.”

Vibe‘s Assistant Editor Tracy Garraud thinks that Jay Elec made the right decision.

“I think Electronica is looking to be a part of a strong conglomerate. [He] made the right choice,” she said. “Look at Diddy and all the obstacles he’s gone through with his own group, Dirty Money. Last Train to Paris has been pushed back and Puff’s resilience is chipping a bit. You can’t help but notice it.

“If Diddy doesn’t expect 112, Black Rob, Da Band, Danity Kane, or that other group, to take his business hijinks personally … then he can’t be sensitive to the flipside,” she added.

Thomas A. Harden, Editor-in-Chief of Urban Latino magazine said the MC’s might’ve chosen Jay’s camp for a chance at artistic freedom.

“I think Jay Electronica signing with Jay-Z simply boiled down to having the creative freedom he might not have had signing with a traditional label,” he said. “I don’t know the terms of the deal, but Roc Nation is breaking away from the standard artist/label model and making waves in their new creative ventures, which can be enticing for an underground artist of Electronica’s stature. From touring to potential endorsements, Electronica will possibly have full control of the direction and growth of his brand.”

Diddy and Jay Electronica seemed to have reconciled via Twitter on Monday (November 15), following Elec’s  public challenge to Bad Boy’s head.

“You should be more clear than that too brother. Betrayal is a serious allegation. Real talk,” Elec wrote of Diddy’s “betrayl” claims. “And you know I’m gonna be me so I ain’t gonna be holding my tongue if you gon’ be out here emotional and wreckless with it …”

Diddy then replied, “I proud of you! I’m happy for you. I love you! I congratulate you’ I’m not mad at you! All I wanna do is see you win! All love.”

“Regarding the Twitter exchange between Puff and Jay Electronica? Man, you gotta love it,” said music industry attorney Reggie Ossé also known as blogger Combat Jack. “Puff tweeted what he felt, and Jay responded. Bravo to him for not backing down. Their exchange was a great way to the start the week.”

Only time will tell if the New Orleans MC will live up to the brand Hov has stamped with approval.

Do you think Jay Electronica joined the right team? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!