Jay Rock Sets Record Straight On TDE ‘Breakup’ Rumors
Jay Rock has set the record straight regarding the speculation surrounding the status of Top Dog Entertainment (TDE).
The L.A.-bred rhymer sat down for an interview with DJ Whoo Kid this week, where he was quizzed about the rumors of trouble in the West Coast label’s camp.
“People love starting rumors and spreading all type of, you know… I call it bad ink,” he replied. “Sometimes people like to write in bad ink, you feel me? Especially on blog sites and different internet things.
“But we all good, though. The family, TDE family, despite what everybody’s saying — the breakup — everybody’s all good.”
Jay Rock also addressed his relationship with Kendrick Lamar, saying: “That’s my little brother. I hollered at him the other day. That’s still bro. Ain’t nothing changed.”
Watch the interview clip below:
The rumors surrounding TDE began circulating following Kendrick Lamar’s departure from the label, which he announced in 2021.
In a rare message posted to his website at the time, the Compton native informed fans that his Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album — which arrived in May 2022 — would be his final release on the label, who he was signed to for more than a decade.
Kendrick went on to launch his own imprint, pgLang, alongside his longtime manager and creative collaborator Dave Free.
Even before K. Dot bid farewell, TDE fans were becoming frustrated by the relative inactivity of flagship stars like ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Isaiah Rashad, whose new albums would arrive years apart.
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Scrutiny intensified this past summer when fellow signee Reason publicly called out the label for dropping the ball on his latest album Porches.
“We had certain features lined up that could’ve went through,” the rapper complained on the BACKONFIGG podcast. “We had the budget, we had the feature lined up, takes too long to get pushed through, feature price ended up going up or something goes away. Content ideas lined up, not executed. Rollout ideas lined up, not executed.
“It was a few different things. I had Latto lined up for something, not executed. I had EST Gee lined up, not executed. Like, us not pushing through. Features lined up, we got a price set, video and verse for the love, takes too long.”
This led to a tense back and forth between Reason and TDE co-president Anthony “Moosa” Tiffith, who disparaged his artist by calling him a “substitute teacher,” among other things.
Despite this, SZA has continued to wave the flag for TDE thanks to the blockbuster success of her sophomore album SOS, which has broken numerous records on its way to becoming certified triple platinum in less than a year.
More recently, the critically acclaimed project has yielded nine nominations for the singer at the 2024 Grammy Awards, making her the most nominated artist heading into music’s biggest night.