A decade after publishing his memoir “Decoded,” Jay-Z is forming a more lasting partnership with the book industry.
Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by the rapper, is starting an imprint with Random House called Roc Lit 101. In a joint announcement Tuesday, Random House and Roc Nation promised “books at the dynamic intersection of entertainment and genre-defying literature." Among the initial releases for next summer: “Till the End,” a memoir by the retired pitching star CC Sabathia; and music journalist Danyel Smith's “Shine Bright,” a story of Black women in music that combines memoir, criticism and biography.
Future releases will include a book by Meek Mill on “criminal justice and survival,” memoirs by rappers Yo Gotti and Fat Joe and fantasy fiction from rapper Lil Uzi Vert, along with everything from cookbooks to children's stories.
Roc Lit 101 will be led by Chris Jackson, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Random House imprint One World and a recent recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Center for Fiction; and Jana Fleishman, executive vice president of Roc Nation.
“Our aspiration for the imprint is to create books that draw from the best of pop culture— its most imaginative and talented storytellers, innovators, and literary chroniclers — to create beautifully written and produced works that will entertain and enthrall readers, but also illuminate critical issues," Jackson, who published “Decoded” and has worked with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ibram X. Kendi among others, said in a statement.
Fleishman said in a statement that “There are so many untold stories and we consider it a true privilege to be able to amplify diverse voices while exploring the uncharted worlds that are about to open to us.”
Random House declined comment when asked if Jay-Z himself might publish a book through Roc Lit 101, or if Beyoncé might publish through the new imprint.