*Jay-Z announced Friday (Nov. 12) that New Orleans rapper Jay Electronica has been signed to his Roc Nation imprint, joining recently-added acts J. Cole and Willow Smith.
Jay-Z delivered the news at a lavish party at New York club The Box, which kicked off at about 10:15 p.m. with his wife Beyonce and artist Omarion among the guests. According to Billboard, the event also featured a three-ring circus that included burlesque dancers, an aerial gymnast, a Russian hula-hoop master and a girl whose “talent” was having men shoot arrows at balloons that were strategically positioned over her “vajayjay.”
Jay-Z, decked out in a sharp black suit, took the stage and told his guests about his “goal to reintroduce magic back into hip-hop, the love, the wizardry.” With that, Jay introduced “Mr. Jay Electronica, the official Roc Nation signee.” [Watch clip below.]
Electronica, wearing a black suit and blue tie, performed a handful of songs that showed the skills that turned Jay-Z’s ear. “This is a real moment for me, so forgive me while I do what I do best.”
Jay Electronica has been praised for his outstanding rap skills since 2007, but it was the release of the 2009 track “Exhibit C,” which reached no. 86 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, that garnered him the most mainstream attention, with music moguls like Diddy and his baby-mother Erykah Badu calling him the most exciting thing to happen to hip-hop in a long while. [Listen to Exhibit C below.]
Meanwhile, Jigga also recently unveiled a new website as a promotional push for his upcoming greatest hits album, “The Hits Collection,” which hits stores Nov. 22.
The Flash-based site opens with scenic black and white photos of New York landmarks before hitting the landing page (see photo above). Each section of the website chronicles different periods of his career, from the early days to his corporate prowess developed over the past few years. Below, a review from Web site Mashable.com…
A particular standout is the way the site incorporates tweets. The fans are actually given a rather large mic on this site, but Twitter’s constant stream of commentary is both powerfully and gracefully incorporated. Unlike the Skittles debacle of 2009, this page gives some (but not all) of its voice to fans, while giving them tools to enter the conversation and some very handy prompts for shaping the conversation, as well.
Here’s the pop-up that appears when you click on the banner reading “Tweets is watching. Add your voice.”
Tweets displayed on the site start off as an unobtrusive EQ line at the bottom of the page, with glowing bars and floating text as you mouse over each bar.
When you click on a particular bar (representing a tweet), a carousel interface pops over the site, and you can see what people are tweeting about Jay-Z.
According to Agency Net, the firm that created the new site along with Island Def Jam, its approach to social media integration “was inspired by a very basic insight: fans love to use social media, particularly Twitter, to post Jay-Z lyrics and illustrate their dexterity.”
“That said, after a few glances at the organic, fan-powered hashtags #jayzlyrics and #jayzquote, we were sold on including a mechanism for fans to offer homage in the way they’re already doing so, but this time on the most credible platform ever: amongst the content itself and visualized by the world.”