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Roc Nation was founded by Rapper and Music Mogul Shawn Carter, popularly known as Jay-Z in 2008, as a full-service agency and community. Since its inception and over time, the company houses a talent agency, clothing line, school, media relations, production and management, publishing, and philanthropy. The company is headquartered in New York City and has offices in cities like Los Angeles, London and Nashville.
Since the establishment of Roc Nation, the company has maintained a multi-year partnership with Live Nation. And in June 2009, the company signed a four-year distribution deal with Sony Music. Likewise, in 2010, Rock Nation partnered with London-based entertainment company Three Six Zero Group. This was followed by a 2013 global music publishing administration deal with Warner/Chappell Music.
As a music label, Roc Nation currently has the following artists on its roaster, Jay Z, Meek Mill, Shakira, Willow, and manages superstars like DJ Khaled, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Megan The Stallion, Jay Z, Alexa Goddard, Lil Uzi Vert, T.I, J.Cole, Tinashe among several others. Roc Nations previously used to be the homes of artists such as Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Bridget Kelly, Rita Ora, Kanye West and many more. No doubt, Roc Nation is an entertainment giant as long as the U.S. entertainment and global industry is concerned.
As part of its diversification and expansion, the Roc Nation in April 2013 formed a new sports management division known as Roc Nation Sports, a subsidiary dedicated to sports representation for professional athletes. Shortly after that, Roc Nation Sports launched a boxing promotion division. After the Sony deal expired in April 2013, Roc Nation signed a multi-year partnership with Universal Music.
In another partnership and diversification move, Roc Nation and Three Six Zero Group announced the formation of Three Six Zero Entertainment in 2013, a division supposed to represent clients in film, television and literary arts.
Like every major music label and publishing company, Roc Nation has had its fair share of criticism and lawsuits, most notable being the administration of a copyright lawsuit by Prince’s estate against Roc Nation for putting 15 of Prince’s albums on Tidal, their then-affiliated streaming service.
In March 2017, Roc Nation announced the formation of Arrive, a new division of the company that will focus on investing and nurturing promising startups. And in August 2019, Roc Nation announced a long-term partnership with the National Football League. As a result of the collaboration with the NFL, Roc Nation will be the live music entertainment strategist for the league and will focus on enhancing the league’s live game day experience and augment social justice efforts through the Inspire Change initiative.
Roc Nation produced “Free Meek” a television docu-series about Meek Mill’s ongoing battle with the United States justice system following a disputed conviction in 2007. On August 9, 2019, the five-part series premiered on Amazon Prime Video and was executive produced by Meek Mill and Jay-Z. In 2020, Roc Nation also produced the Super Bowl LIV halftime show and co-produced the BBC television drama series Noughts + Crosses with Participant and ITV Studios’ Mammoth Screen.
In 2020, Roc Nation partnered with Long Island University in Brooklyn to begin a Roc Nation School program for Music, Sports & Entertainment. In October 2020, Roc Nation released a compilation album titled Reprise, benefiting various social justice initiatives across the U.S.