Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and publisher Random House have joined forces to create Roc Lit 101, a one-of-a-kind imprint promising to deliver entertainment literature that’s already putting women in the forefront as leaders and creatives.
Roc Lit 101 will be overseen by Jana Fleishman, the executive vice president of Roc Nation, and Chris Jackson, the publisher and editor-in-chief of One World, a Random House imprint that promotes diverse writers.
“The goal of Roc Lit 101 is to provide a creative outlet for acclaimed wordsmiths and artists to share their visions with new audiences,” said Fleishman in the Random House announcement. “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.”
The inaugural Roc Lit 101 list includes former Vibe editor and author Danyel Smith’s Shine Bright, in what the publisher is calling “a brilliant weave of memoir, criticism, and biography that tells the story of black women in music as the foundational story of American pop.” Baseball pitcher CC Sabathia also has a memoir slated for release in summer 2021, along with Danyel’s book.
Roc Lit 101 plans for fiction and nonfiction works across genres from rappers Lil Uzi Vert, Meek Mill, Fat Joe, and Yo Gotti.
Jay-Z, legally known as Shawn Carter and Beyoncé’s husband, is not the first rapper to form an imprint to feature diverse voices. In 2018, British rapper Stormzy announced a collaboration with William Heinemann imprint under Penguin Random House where he curates the selection for #Merky Books imprint. Penguin Random House is the parent of Random House.