“If ‘bitch’ means good, then, great.”
Some 18 years ago Jennifer Justice (yep, that’s her real name, and she’s an entertainment lawyer) was on a three-day weekend with her friends in Malibu. They were sipping Rose, and sitting out on a deck staring at the ocean.
Jay Z texted her.
“Can you call me?”
“Oh shit, what did I do?” she thought.
She wasn’t in trouble. Jay Z-- her client who had taken up more than half her time since he was a little known star-- was offering her a full time job working for him.
“You have the weekend to think about it,” he said.
They both sort of laughed at that idea. And she said, “Ok I’ll get back to you.”
She rejoined her friends and said, sort of stunned, “Jay Z just offered me a full time job.”
Her friends waved off any posture of giving it some thought. One replied, “Bitch, please. You are doing it. Can you pass the rosé?”
That’s how you become Jay Z’s legal right hand and the general counsel for Roc Nation for 17 years.
Justice’s life didn’t always look quite so much like a season of “Sex in the City.” She was the daughter of a single mother who lived part of her time off of welfare, never graduated high school, and went through four divorces. In fact, no one in her family had ever been to college. Her motivation: “Just not to be stuck in the same position they were. I wanted to see everything.”
A few years ago that journey got even more ambitious when Justice decided to have kids on her own… and had twins.
And you thought my “Uterus Is a Feature, not a Bug” Podcast was only going to feature techies…
In this episode we talk about Justice’s fearless career, how she brushed off sexism in the music industry, why so many powerful music lawyers happen to be women, and the insane baby gifts she got from her crazy blinged out network. And why having children lead to her leaving Jay Z to test if she was “good enough” outside that safety net. Her current job is president of corporate development for music festival powerhouse Superfly.
My favorite quote:
I’m sure there was some bitch calling behind my back and there were some “honey’s” and “sweetie’s” and “Isn’t that sweet?” and “kiddo’s,” but I was known as being very tough and probably bitchy and all those things… but I just started wearing it as a badge of honor. If “bitch” means good, then, great.
She even offers a defense of Tidal.
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