XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
Feb. 19, 2013: Throughout his career, Jay-Z has made a variety of successful business moves that have proven lucrative for him. From investing in the spirits industry to the cannabis industry to streaming, the veteran rhymer lets his money do the talking. On this day in 2013, Hov took care of his biggest investment: his music catalog. The hip-hop billionaire secured a publishing deal that would make his catalog generate even more income.
Ten years ago, Jay-Z and his Roc Nation company signed a worldwide publishing administration deal with Warner Chappell Music, the publishing arm of Warner Music Group. The deal gave Warner Chappell the right to manage Jay’s catalog dating back to 2008—which would include The Blueprint 3 and Watch the Throne—as well as his future and earlier musical works.
Roc Nation‘s deal with Warner Chappell allowed the publisher to manage copyrights for the management company’s all-star roster of songwriters, including Philip Lawrence, S1, Rita Ora and many others. Jay-Z is the founder of Roc Nation.
So What Does a Worldwide Administrative Deal Mean for Jay-Z?
According to ASCAP, a performance-rights organization, a worldwide administrative deal gives an artist 100 percent ownership of their publishing and allows a third party (in this case, Warner Chappell) to manage their songs, including collecting foreign income, copyright registration and more. The publisher might also pitch artists’ songs for commercials, television and film placements. In short, Warner Chappell does the heavy lifting, while Jay-Z sits back and reap in the financial rewards.
What makes the deal so sweet for the Brooklyn rhymer is that he now owns all his master recordings of his 13 studio albums, and has full control of his publishing rights—meaning when someone buys one of his albums, streams one of his songs, or licenses his tracks for a movie, he’ll get paid.
Not surprisingly, a week after his publishing deal in 2013, Jay’s wife, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, also inked a worldwide music publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music. Together, the hip-hop couple has established generational wealth for their children for years to come.