Tuesday, September 6, 2022

From The Roc's First Lady to the Queen Alone

Another rare find from Napo and a further testament to the powerhouse that was once Roc-A-Fella Records... After her sophomore album “Electrik Blue” was shelved indefinitely, Nicole Wray parted ways with the abysmal Elektra and in 2003 signed a contract with “The Roc”, officially becoming the label’s “First Lady”. Sadly after one single, Def Jam brought out Roc-A-Fella Records in its entirely. Wray had a choice to either go with Jay-Z to Def Jam or stay with Damon Dash and she chose the latter as in her own words “he inspired me over the years to be myself, to smile, to be sad and to embrace who I am and let people know who I am.” Unfortunately due to numerous business conflicts with their parent label Universal, Dash’s label and his roster of original artists that included Wray, Rell, and N.O.R.E. was shortly to be dropped. They found a new home at Koch Records but some artists such as Wray and Rell just did not happen. After one single “It’s A Man’s World”, her third album, like Electrik Blue before it, was left on the cutting room floor and confined to a very rare Chrysalis promo that we are never likeliest to see. Her fate follows Roc-A-Fella’s former forgotten “First Lady” Denim and preceded that of Teairra Mari who was christened the label’s “R&B Princess” in 2005. Each of them could’ve been great in their own way – each brought something different - but it seemed Jay had a one-track mind at the best of times. Eventually they would’ve all been forgotten about when Rhianna and her “Umbrellas” came along. As for Wray, she is currently independent and still as spectacular as ever...