It certainly didn’t take long for Jay-Z to find a new job.
Make that another job, to add to his growing list of interests, such as co-owner of the New Jersey Nets, the string of 40/40 nightclubs he heads up, or the luxury hotel in New York he hopes to break ground on soon — not to mention the North American tour with Mary J. Blige that was announced earlier this week.
Just seven weeks after announcing that he would depart his post as president of Def Jam amid stalled contract renegotiations, Hov announced on Friday (February 8) that he is set to partner with longtime business associate Steve Stoute to launch Translation Advertising.
According to The New York Times, Jay-Z and Stoute will serve as co-chairmen of the venture, with a 49 percent stake in the company being owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies, the third-largest agency company in the U.S.
Translation Advertising will follow in the footsteps of Stoute’s successful efforts with Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, a marketing outfit he founded that was largely responsible for partnering Justin Timberlake with McDonald’s and Jay-Z with Reebok and Hewlett-Packard for influential campaigns. Jay-Z’s involvement in any ads will be independent of his creative work with the agency, the Times reported.
“If we sit in a room and offer our ideas of how to reach consumers, how to speak to them — and this is not a cocky statement — put us up against anything, and we’ll win our fair share of battles,” Jay told the paper of his and Stoute’s talent at targeting the coveted hip-hop demo.
The world’s most famous “unemployed” rap star also seems to be getting his boardroom chops up for his new position, which he said will be in a creative and entrepreneurial capacity rather than day-to-day operations.
He took aim at advertisers who attempt to pander to the younger market with clichéd tactics and an emphasis on style over substance.
Pointing to a recent ad that shows guys breakdancing in a cell-phone store, Jay told the paper, “There are people who don’t understand the culture.”
“It’s just not something we do,” he continued. “We go into the stores and want the same thing as everyone else. We may care about the style of the phone a little bit more, but we want our phone to work. We care about the functionality.”
As of press time, the company had not revealed its list of clients, but Stoute said the duo plan to make another announcement soon.