Vic Mensa talks Roc Nation signing

On the heels of yesterday’s big announcement/signing with Roc Nation, Vic Mensa sits down with Power 106 to talk all things Roc Nation, his newly announced upcoming project, Traffic, working with Kanye, working competitively with Chance The Rapper, Coachella, and even his new Roc-A-Fella tat.

If you enjoyed last night’s backstory to how he got signed, you’ll enjoy this new interview too.

ICYMI: Vic Mensa “U Mad” f/ Kanye West

Vic Mensa signs to Roc Nation

It’s official after having been rumored since the release of “U Mad” — Vic Mensa signs to Roc Nation.

The powerful photo with the big bro Hov is up above with a tweet from the latter as well. Big looks continue for Vic in 2015, congrats to the young Chi-Town representa!

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UPDATE: Here’s the full story on how Lenny S. with Roc Nation signed young Vic.

A while back, I caught wind of an artist from Chicago who I thought had undeniable talent + lots of potential. I had @spanish_ran get in contact with @codykazarian who was a part of the mgmt team. I flew to Chi to go see this kid perform.

As a music exec, I’m excited about traveling to the Chi to meet this guy for the 1st time. Coming from Roc, I assumed he’d be ecstatic. I assumed wrong. He barely gives me a head nod after Cody intros us. Now the show’s over, every1 is gone & still nothin’. As I’m leaving, he stops me + says “yo, thanks for coming homie, where u from again?” I’d be lying to say I wasn’t slightly offended. Ha. I sarcastically answered “just a lil rec company named ROC NATION”. He replies, “oh, who y’all got there?” If u know me & my ROC pride, I’m offended again. Me: “Not sure if you’ve heard of them, a few small artists like, JZ, JCole & Rihanna”. He says, oh cool + keeps it moving. All Good…

Fast fwd a few months. Cody keeps me updated on everything they’re doing + without question, I show up. Chi, ATL, Detroit, LA, NY etc. Finally, I meet Dan, the 2nd half of mgmt team while they’re in NY filming Wildn’ Out. Dan doesn’t even give me eye contact during our intro. At this point I’m tight.. Who the fuck r these guys?! Who do they think they r ?! Fuck that! Do they not know who I am & the company I rep?! WTF!

Days later I convince myself to put my stubbornness/pride aside & reach out. Fuck it, this dude is too dope. Why should I lose out just cause it seems like they’re not impressed w/ Lenny S or Roc.

I hit Cody..He tells me Vic wanted to holla at me. We kick it for months. They tell me nothin can move if I’m not good w/Dan. I sat w/ all of em in LA & I told them every reason y ROC was perfect for em. They didn’t care about the hype, $, offers etc. They cared about making a connection w/ music/culture & partnering with a company who understood their vision/art. Same thing Roc believes in. We shook on it. Last piece of the puzzle: Meet w/ Chaka & J. My 20m meeting lasted 3hrs. We talked bout art/icons/rock/HipHop etc & decided our new business partners were SAVEMONEY! 1 of my most proud signings! VIC MENSA!!

Roc City Classic (Live Stream)

Stream over. Press play and watch the full 1 hr, 14 minute concert above.

Kanye West headlined the Roc City Classic tonight, outdoors at the Flatiron Building in New York City and it was an event that had us tuned in live.

‘Ye performed a lot of his turn-up hits of recent past with his G.O.O.D. Music brethren accompanying him — Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, and Travi$ Scott were all there and performed their respective verses or some solo songs as well (“IDFWU”, “Blessings”, “Numbers on the Board”, “Mamacita”, for example.) ‘Ye also gave Fetty Wap his biggest co-sign yet as he brought him out to his hometown stage for a performance of his street viral hit “Trap Queen”.

The show was not without its technical difficulties, however. At various times, the mics for Big Sean and Pusha T didn’t sound very strong and were cutting out. Plus, Kanye had to restart “Blood On The Leaves” saying at one point, “This shit very unorganized for a Kanye West situation.” There were some momentary pauses of silences at various times to as things were being figured out behind the scenes before the next song started. It wasn’t that big of a distraction overall, but I can sense the frustration in a perfectionist like Ye.

The show closed with “New Slaves”, “Blood on the Leaves”, and “Only One”. When he restarted “Blood on the Leaves”, he called out Nike and refused to acknowledge the company by name. He started by asking the crowd to “Sing it loud so they can hear it all out in Portland.” Kanye was at a riled up maximum for the first lines of “Blood on the Leaves” for what was probably my favorite highlight of the show.

For “Only One”, the mood switched and Kanye even ad-libbed that he was happy today (after all, it was a big day.) The lighting followed suit from the Grammys. Then with this amazingly simple and powerful statement, Kanye was out.

Remember to believe in yourself. Remember that anything is possible. I love you.

But no one’s going to focus on that… just him interrupting Beck and then not hearing him clarify the comments so it comes off better than he intended.

On that note, be sure to watch up above and you can fast forward through the full performance if on a time crunch. I wouldn’t of course. Also note the new subtleties like additional synths and riffs in “Don’t Like”, “Cold” (especially), and “New Slaves”.

Squad.
Squad.

For more Kanye: Official video of Yeezy Season 1 (+ HQ “Wolves” f/ Vic Mensa & Sia) and more details on today’s fashion presentation.

Fabolous new album dropping Christmas

Big news day for Fabolous and his fans as he first announced his signing to Roc Nation Management. The move is propelling the upcoming quick release of a new solo album, The Young OG Project, set for this Christmas. There are plenty of die-hards out there who are gonna cop this as a stocking stuffer and for me, after all these years, I’m still plenty interested in a new Fab album just to see if something connects like a “Breathe”. That throwback is below, along with an interview with Fabolous on what to expect.

Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports in boxing

Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports has made another power move — this one into the boxing ring.

“There’s no question the sport of boxing needs a new player, someone who can do something different,” Michael Yormark, the president and chief of branding and strategy for parent company Roc Nation, told ESPN.com on Sunday night. “We’re energized, and we’re going to make a difference. This is a huge priority to us. This is a highly serious business to us.”

Starting as Chief Operating Officer of Roc Nation’s Boxing division is David Itskowitc, a highly respected 18-year executive in the boxing business. Roc Nation Sports has already secured a promoters license in New York and Washington, D.C. and is expected to sign its first boxer sometime soon after this public announcement. Of course, we’re all thinking… could it be Floyd?

Donda x Roc Nation announce partnership

Earlier today, Jay & ‘Ye‘s new collaborative business venture promises to bring some big, albeit vague things in 2014. From the press release:

Announced today, Kanye West‘s creative house DONDA enters into partnership with Roc Nation to manage all DONDA Music.

The partnership will focus on Mr. West’s international recording brand and worldwide touring ventures.

“DONDA Music”. Hmm, I wonder if that means some more artists will be affiliated? Who knows? Kanye’s always been one to branch out and he spent Oscar night in a session with Angel Haze.