*Jay Z’s Roc Nation agency announced today that it will enter into a partnership with Kanye West’s creative house DONDA Music, which works with Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Pusha T, among others.
DONDA, named after the artist’s late mother, provides design services for affiliated acts (including, but not limited to: apparel, album covers, stage design and film projects).
However, its partnership with Roc Nation will focus solely on Ye’s international recording brand and worldwide touring ventures.
*On Saturday, Jay Z hosted a pre-Grammy brunch at a palatial mansion in Beverly Hills.
Late arrivers were left on the outside looking in at the private party where the icon’s annual Roc Nation brunch was held.
Most of the guests were bused to the secret location. But the fête proved to be so popular, authorities denied entry because of overcrowding concerns.
Rita Ora leaves Playboy’s 60th Anniversary Party at the Playboy Club in London on December 3, 2013. The bash was co-hosted by Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs
*British singer-songwriter Rita Ora, who signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in December 2009, within 48 hours of her arrival in the United States, has been cast in Universal‘s adaptation of E L James’ mega-selling novel Fifty Shades Of Grey.
The Kosovo-born artist will play Mia, the outgoing adopted sister of bondage-loving billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).
Dakota Johnson stars as Anastasia Steele. Also in the cast are Eloise Mumford as Kate, Anastasia’s best friend and roommate; Luke Grimes as Elliot, Christian’s brother; Victor Rasuk as José, Anastasia’s close friend; Jennifer Ehle as Anastasia’s mother, Carla; and Max Martini as Jason Taylor, Christian’s bodyguard and head of his security team.
Last month Universal moved the film’s release date from August 1, 2014, to Valentine’s weekend 2015.
Ora was last on the big screen in a cameo for “Fast & Furious 6.”
*Jay Z is in the headlines this morning for comments he made in the new November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair, linking his success in the corporate world to the skills he acquired as a drug dealer.
The hip-hop mogul said he found it easy to set up his Roc Nation record label and build a musical empire because he already had years of experience slinging crack on the streets of Brooklyn.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up,” he told the magazine.
The 43-year-old reformed family man – who has 20-month-old daughter Blue Ivy with his wife Beyonce – wishes he had gotten out of the drug scene earlier and thought about the big picture instead of focusing on the instant cash.
“Not until later [did I have regrets], when I realized the effects on the community,” he said. “I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
The music mogul is reported to have raked in $42 million in the past year, adding to a net worth of about $475 million, a far cry from his original ”exit strategy” of setting up a barbershop.
“If you want to start some sort of barbershop or carwash – those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life,” he said. “You have to have an exit strategy, because your window [for dealing drugs] is very small. You’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”