On August 14, Kansas City, Missouri emcee and Strange Music co-founder Tech N9ne revealed to HipHopDX that Watts, California rapper and DXnext alum Jay Rock would likely be the latest artist to sign with his hometown imprint.
Explaining how he first caught wind of Jay Rock’s movement, Tech said. “First of all, when I did the video with Estevan Oriol, ‘Like Yeah’ [from Killer], Jay Rock came down. I’d never met him, but I’d heard him. He did that song with [Lil] Wayne, “All My Life (In The Ghetto).” He came and showed me love, he was 100. He came and told me what he had poppin’: he was on Warner Brothers, messing with [DJ] Kay Slay…he was a real cool cat. So we started talkin’, and the deal wasn’t really goin’ well with Warner. So we were like, ‘What if we can get in there and get Jay Rock?’ We’re almost [secured] in having Jay Rock over here at Strange Music. It’s almost final. We’re just tweaking a couple things. From he being down with me to him possibly being one of my artists on Strange Music is a big thing for me.”
Tech N9ne confirmed yesterday to XXLMag.com that Jay Rock has indeed left Warner Brothers to sign with Strange Music. He will join fellow California emcee Brotha Lynch Hung at the Missouri-based label.
Additionally in last month’s conversation, Tech N9ne explained what he admired most in the DXnext emcee. “What really did it for the tour was, we had had a meeting with all his people, and we brought him out to Kansas City. We ate, we partied, we saw a show. XXL was down here to see it. When I went to L.A., I got to see him open up for my show. I had never saw him on stage. Him and Kendrick Lamar and all them really murdered it! [My publicist] brought me in to see it. ‘Check Jay Rock out.’ I was thoroughly impressed, homie! Come on, Jake, we really do shows, my friend. For somebody to blow me away, that’s a lot.”
In a statement from Strange, Jay Rock said the following of his arrival at the new home. “Man, I’m excited about this. Tech and Strange approached us once I became a free agent and we went to [Kansas City] to see first-hand what we had been missing and saw why they’re the #1 independent Rap label. The word had spread about me leaving Warner Brothers, and I was getting offers left and right from majors wanting to sign me, but in the end, [my manager] Dude Dawg and I had no doubts that Strange had the perfect situation for us.”