If there's one thing fans of independent music love, its an Art vs. Commerce debate, and this signing should keep EVERYONE in Hip-Hop, from the back-packers to the ballers and everyone in between arguing for the rest of the year. To me, there's only one aspect of this that merits discussion: freedom. Now that he's on a major label, with a major budget, big marketing dollars and the biggest artist co-sign that he could hope for, will Jay Electronica have the freedom to record whatever he's feeling at the moment, or will there be pressure to create hit records? We've seen Jay-Z leaning towards the more experimental in recent projects. Is this signing the reflection of those changes? Is Roc Nation willing to sacrifice sales if it means gaining the reputation of being a home for true artists? We'll see.
And of course, a new song has come from this union. Stay tuned for "Shiny Suit Theory" with both Jay's Charlotte Gainsbourg and The Dream.