Get the The ROC Jay Z Dame Dash Biggs T Shirt . Roc-A-Fella Records was an American record label founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Damon “Dame” Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke in 1995. It operated as a division of Def Jam Recordings. The foundation of the label occurred in 1995, beginning as an independent outlet for rapper Jay-Z’s 1st album. After being turned down by several major labels, Carter, Dash and Burke started their own label through Priority, using money from the music videos provided by Payday due to their singles only deal. Though Reasonable Doubt didn’t immediately attain commercial success, it spawned several hits, and procured Jay-Z a reputation in the hip-hop community. Starting out as Roc-A-Fella’s only artist, Jay-Z was supported by The Notorious B.I.G.‘s producer DJ Clark Kent and DJ Ski, who was then working with Camp Lo; affiliated rappers, Sauce Money, Jaz-O, and a young Memphis Bleek, though only Bleek would eventually sign with the label. According to Dame, the label had intended on releasing Nas‘ group The Firm, but the deal fell through:
Get the The ROC Jay Z Dame Dash Biggs T Shirt . The snub, and a sample clearance issue with the Nas-sampling Reasonable Doubt song “Dead Presidents II,” were elements that contributed to tension between Jay-Z and Nas. As such, Roc-A-Fella Records’ only release in 1997 was Jay-Z’s second album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, but the label and its figurehead artist saw increasing popularity, mainly due to a high-profile appearance by Jay on B.I.G.’s posthumous Life After Death, complete with Roc-A-Fella and Damon Dash references. While Memphis Bleek signed with the Roc, Sauce Money chose to pursue a deal with Priority, and Jaz refrained from signing anywhere and provided production for only 1 song on Vol. 1, “Rap Game/Crack Game.” In 1998, Roc-A-Fella Records released the movie Streets Is Watching and the accompanying soundtrack; the film compiles various Jay-Z videos into a continuous story, and the album introduced more affiliated, future Roc-A-Fella Records signees Noreaga, M.O.P., and DJ Clue, as well as producer Irv Gotti and the short-lived group, Murder Inc. (namesake of Irv’s record label, Murder Inc.).
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