Jay-Z Talks Grammy Nominations, Rumors, Contracts…
Jay-Z has been putting in work and his crew has a reported 26 Grammy nominations. According to the rapper, he tells Billboard Magazine, “….we definitely put the work in and it’s great to be recognized for it. And “Umbrella”‘s nominations for song and record of the year were fantastic. Rihanna came out of the gate with huge records; our whole thing was to make sure she didn’t get buried under those records and become the “‘Pon the Replay” girl. So to see her come full circle and get her Grammy nods was an incredibly rewarding feeling.”
What’s your take on 360 contracts?
I believe that 360 becomes a bad deal unless you’re doing artist development. Being an artist, I’m an artist-friendly executive as well. You can’t take someone’s rights, profess to be an expert in that field and then not do anything for it. If you’re sharing and partnering with an artist, you better build an artist. Or the record company is going to lose out. You could make a 360 deal with an artist and maybe you don’t have that artist two years from now. We can’t — as record executives — expect to take someone’s rights and not add value. If we’re adding value, it’s a partnership. If we’re not, then we’re just trying to find another way to make up for the money being lost on the Internet. And that’s not cool.
So, what about the all the rumors that you’re leaving Def Jam?
The rumors are about only because my contract is up. If we can work something out that’s beneficial to all parties involved, we’ll see. But it’s not about money. It’s really about trying to invest in the future, trying to invest in maybe coming up with a new model. Because going in hard making records with artists and throwing those records into a system that’s flawed is not exciting for me. It’s not the music; people ingest music the same way. It’s just that the model of selling CDs has changed. So doing things the typical way is not in the best interests of anyone and not exciting for me. My whole thing is, how do we invest in the future? If everyone is committed to doing that, then I’m sure there’s a deal to be made.