(Photo via SpecialKiran)

Tonight, Jay E.’s friends, family, fans and critics are packed into The Box, to announce that he’s officially part of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation roster.

Earlier I spoke to Jay E. about the big news, and his plans. He said that the actual contract was signed on Saturday, after a few weeks of intense daily communication and creative courtship. How did it start? With a chance meeting at the Spotted Pig. How did Electronica know Hov was serious? His second replay email came attached with a verse. That ended up becoming the Jay Electronica and Jay-Z collaboration “Shiny Suit Theory” (featuring French chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg and The Dream).

There’s irony in the fact Jay-Z appears on a Jay Elec song that’s based on Diddy’s description of Jay Elec. Because Diddy has been mentoring and courting Jay for over a year, in the hopes of signing him as well. Electronica insists he values everything Puff contributed and hopes to have him involved in his career, but said “Jay-Z made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. And I have the freedom I need too.”
The natural of the underground, the anti-establishment, the independent artist is rapidly changing…so I’m anxious to see what happens when Jay the conglomerate and Jay the mystic mix commerce and art.

Pics & flashback video from Jay Elec after the jump……

Pics from the annoucement that just went down. Thanks to Nigel.D, Angela Yee, Paul Rosenberg, Brad Wete, FWMJ, Necole Bitchie & Sean Fennessey for the pics.

Videos from Angela Yee with shoutouts to our NMC Family at 2Dopeboyz & Nah Right.

This brings hip hop one step closer (or perhaps farther away) to a mystical lyrical battle between Hov and Jay E, Fight Klub-stylee! Reference: Jay Electronica says “I would battle Jay-Z too” (Aug 2009)