If true, this would mark Weezy's official jump from Cash Money records. In 2015, Wayne caused a media frenzy when he announced that he “signed a deal” with his “motherfucking idol, Jazz, ” during a performance at KEEL Summer Jam in Oakland.
The news garnered attention and rumors about the “deal” and whether involved JayZ's ROC Nation label. Of course, the chatter was soon calmed after Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant said the rapper was only referring to his involvement with TIDAL, which he joined in as co-owner.
“The Internet and blogs took his words out of context,” Bryant told Billboard. Last year, Wayne took to the stage as a headliner on Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw Festival at LA's Exposition Park and while performing “I'm Me,” not only did he throw up the ROC sign synonymous with Jazz, ROC Nation, and Roc-A-Fella records, he also declared full allegiance to HOV.
As this latest update in the ongoing “is he” or “isn't he” on ROC Nation saga, we look back at the growing relationship between Lil Wayne and Jazz within their competitive, complicated, and compelling history as two of the best rappers alive. In light of this latest chapter, let's go back in time to document the road that has opened up partnership for the books.
December 2004: Jazz Considers Signing Lil Wayne To Def Jam Following the success of _They Carter _and his contribution to Destiny's Child hit “Soldier,” Wayne found himself in a bidding war as he entered free agency.
After fielding offers from Jazz, who was then-president of Def Jam, with the possibility of becoming an added member to Def Jam's revamped roster (Kanye West, Fabulous, Rihanna), Wayne decided to stick with loyalty and officially re-signed with Cash Money on February 7, 2005. Months after re-signing with Cash Money, Wayne drops They Carter II to critical acclaim and sales success.
December 2006: Let the Games Begin: Lil Wayne Tells Complex “I'm Better Than Jazz “ Like JayZ's rhymes on “Trouble,” it was just a matter of time “before the levee” broke.
Collaborating for the first time ever, the Beastie Boys-sampled track appeared on Jay's American Gangster album. That same month, the two took their peace treaty to the stage and performed the record for the first time during Jay's American Gangster concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
June 7, 2008: Jazz Counts Up “A Bill” On LilWayne's Mega Hit “I know a million people already did this... make it a billion,” raps Jay over Wayne's _Carter III _smash “A Mill” for his own freestyle.
In an interview with _People _about the four albums that changed his life, Wayne listed Jay's 1997 LP, In My Lifetime, Vol. Teamed up for “Saga Like Us,” which was originally set to appear on both_ The Blueprint 3 _and Tip's Paper Trail.
Together, the foursome saw the mega-collab strike big on the charts and later with the Recording Academy, as they picked up a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Although the relationship between the two titans seemed better than ever, things seemed like the opposite once it came time for Power 105.1's Powerhouse in 2008.
Just days before heading to a courthouse, Wayne made a surprise appearance during the Madison Square Garden stop of JayZ's Blueprint 3 tour with Jeezy. Unfortunately, the two didn't perform together, but Wayne did hit the stage during Jeezy's set, where he also brought out Drake and Nicki Minaj.
“One of the reasons I wanted to make Blueprint 3 was because of the challenge,” Jay told _ Rolling Stone _in his 2010 “King Of America” cover story. “We've seen people like LL have longevity, and we respect the heritage of what he's done, but it's not like, right now, he's competing on the same level as Lil Wayne.
During a pre-Grammy party, Wayne kicked a freestyle that sent yet another (months after “It's Good”) thinly veiled shot at Jay, and this time his Throne partner Kanye West. “I met a bad red bone, I took the batch home/ I asked her what she wants to watch, she said surely not The Throne,” he rapped.
On Monday, Lil Wayne made a puzzling announcement at a concert in Pennsylvania: that he had joined JayZ's ROC Nation. But it marks yet another strange chapter in Lil Wayne and JayZ's long and complicated relationship.
Eagle-eyed fans quickly noticed that the song contained a response to Wayne's threat in “I'm Good” to “Kidnap your bitch, get that 'How much you love your lady?' However, a legal threat from Bird man (“e received a letter at our office for, I think it was, 'Torturous interference',” HOV recalled) prevented him from making it happen.
In the beginning, he gives a very surprising shout-out: “HOV, fuck wit' ya boy.” In a harbinger of things to come, Lil Wayne releases his song “Glory” exclusively on the Jay Z-owned streaming service Tidal.
On the bill along with Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill, Usher, and Rick Ross was Lil Wayne. While performing at the Camp Flog Gnaw, Wayne ends his song “I'm Me” by changing the line “I'm a motherfucking' Cash Money millionaire” to “I'm a motherfucking' Roc-A-Fella millionaire,” thus setting off yet another round of speculation about his relationship with Jay.
HOV might consider himself the “Mike Jordan of recording” but Julie is convinced that Wayne is better than the Nigga Man. 1 songs, and 169 entries in the Billboard Hot 100 while HOV has 21 top ten hits, 4 No.
But if Nigga decided that he doesn't have time to step into the ring, it doesn't matter because Julie is convinced that Wayne could swing with the best of them.