When thinking of Rihanna’s legacy, her status as a sex symbol and her hit singles are undoubtedly the first things to come to mind. But let us not forget that, for as much as RiRi has made for herself, she owes Jay-Z a whole lot for opening that first door. So it shouldn’t exactly surprise anyone to see her jumping label ships, from Def Jam to Jay’s Roc Nation, per Complex, which notes:
Within the past few weeks, her Roc Nation website profile has been updated to specify that she’s not just managed but also officially signed to the label—joining the likes of Calvin Harris, DJ Mustard, J. Cole, Jay Electronica, Rita Ora, and of course, Jay Z. (Roc Nation management represents many other stars.) Meanwhile, the Def Jam website now lists Rihanna under “Legacy” section, along with folks like Amerie, Ashanti, and Slick Rick.
The move would make sense; she’s been represented by Roc Nation since 2010, despite being signed to Def Jam (because the music industry), and recent changes at Def Jam have seen other artists leave the building. She definitely isn’t alone.
When you get to Rihanna’s level of fame, you’re going to make money regardless of what logo adorns the front of your album. And choosing between Def Jam and Roc Nation (who, between Jay, Calvin Harris and J. Cole, have serious star power) is like choosing between a Porsche and a Ferrari. But at the end of the day, some combination of business savvy and loyalty to her old mentor would appear to have landed her on a new label.
Time will tell if the move adds/detracts anything to her fame.
Update: Def Jam wants the world to know that the label will most definitely be involved with the singer’s next project. Per Billboard, the singer and the suits just met last week to discuss her next moves.