Although Roc-A-Fella Records helped foster the careers of Memphis Bleek, Kanye West, and a handful of other artists, M.O.P. lyricist Billy Danze says the Brooklyn, New York group was skeptical about signing with Roc-A-Fella after being approached by both Dame Dash and Jay Z on numerous occasions.
Despite being approached by the pair, Billy Danze revealed that M.O.P. ultimately ended up signing a deal with Relativity and later Loud.
“Signing to Roc-A-Fella was something that was happening—What Jay and Dame was trying to get it to happen for years,” Billy Danze said. “This was when the Roc was a pebble, I like to say. This is when they had an office a little bit bigger than this room…It was just Jay and Dame. They would always come to the studio. We was doing our second album. They would always come to the studio and ask ‘Yo, come on get down.’ We’re in transition from Select to Relativity at the time. We was talking to Relativity and Loud. And Jay and Dame would come to the studio every other day…We just felt like at the time it was still brand new and we weren’t sure if they actually had thought the whole situation out. So, went to Relativity and then from Relativity to Loud, but they would still come around and ask how we can do some business.”
While speaking with Vlad TV, Billy Danze revealed that M.O.P. did find themselves signed to Roc-A-Fella at one point, but says it was at a time when the relationship between those behind the label began to fall apart.
“When we finally wind up doing a record deal with them, on the surface it seemed like it was some kind of issues, but it didn’t seem so major,” he said. “So, what happened was those guys fell apart or whatever. And that kind of did something to me. I’m real passionate about everything that I do though. So, one of the reasons for us signing to Roc-A-Fella was us seeing them together turn shit into sugar. And making this whole thing grow and build in this empire. So, for them to split it seemed a little weird because M.O.P. is really about family and that tight bond that we always have. And we thought that they had the same thing.”
Following the Roc-A-Fella Records fallout, Danze says both Dame Dash and Jay Z individually offered M.O.P. “a room full of money” to sign with them. He explained that he felt “uncomfortable” working with one without the other, so M.O.P. turned down both offers.
Billy Danze’s interview with Vlad TV can be found below.
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