Being president is not enough: Now he's royalty too. Jay-Z says that Sir Paul McCartney, who performed with Jigga during the Grammys, has knighted him — sword ceremony and all — and given him yet another name.
"Sir Hova of Brooklyn," Jay laughed.
His flyness is still basking in Def Jam crooner Ne-Yo's #1 debut last week on the Billboard albums chart (see "Ne-Yo Rises Above Hawthorne Heights With A Landslide Billboard Win"), but that hasn't stopped his focus on rap. His top priority at the moment is Rick Ross, who currently has a huge underground hit.
"We're shooting that video right now, and that's an urgent project for us," Jay said of Ross' street anthem "Hustlin'. " "We need that one. We have a wide range of music [at Island Def Jam], everything from Fall Out Boy to the Killers to Rihanna. I just want everybody to know that we are still in the rap business."
Jay said he didn't mind getting into a bidding war with other companies to sign Ross, a longtime staple in Miami's underground scene. Hov has had his eye on him for quite a while, and the timing was perfect.
"[Memphis] Bleek actually told me about him first," Jay recalled. "Bleek went down to Miami, and he told me that dude was nice. [Ross] fell off the radar for a while, then he popped back up with this record 'Hustlin'.' He had this record poppin' in Miami, and I was like, 'Oh, that's the kid!' "
Jay's excited not only about "Hustlin'," but because Ross has other songs that people will be talking about as well.
"He's got a couple of follow-ups," Hov said. "His whole thing is the other side of Miami. Everybody is talking about the cars and the water. He's showing you the [darker] side of Miami. That's his whole approach to it."
Ross' Career Criminal is due on Def Jam sometime this summer.