Jay-Z’s Clothing Line, Rocawear, Laid Off Half of Their Employees (The Day Before His Daughter Was Born)

Jay-Z’s been no stranger to controversy recently.

The multi-platform mogul, rapper, and as of a week ago father of Beyonce’s baby had what he called the “best week ever” last week. The loud, not-at-all muted complaints of those who felt sidelined by Beyonce’s childbirth at Lenox Hill Hospital—even if they’ve now been deemed “not credible”—would argue differently. So would all of those wondering why Jay-Z’s decision not to use the word “bitch” going forward in light of becoming the father of a daughter didn’t happen in light of being married to a woman like Beyonce. As would the half of Jay-Z’s Rocawear (nee Roc-A-Wear) clothing line workforce, who ANIMAL NY reports were laid off one day before the child was born.

Via ANIMAL, “28 out of 56 Rocawear employees were laid off according to the New York State Department of Labor website for ‘economic’ reasons.

While Jay-Z sold the rights to Roc-A-Wear in 2007 to the Iconix Brand Group for $204M in cash, he still retains a stake in the company and oversees product development. At the time of the apparel line’s sale, Roc-A-Wear was raking in over $700M a year in sales.

An earlier Jay-Z kerfuffle involving Roc-A-Wear popped up in November, when Roc-A-Wear started selling OCCUPY ALL STREETS shirts on the Roc-A-Wear website, which prompted a backlash and/or quasi-extortion from the widespread political movement when word got out that the rapper would not be donating any proceeds of the shirt to the movement. The shirt was reportedly taken down from the site for a short while in the midst of the controversy, and eventually, put back up. The rapper might want to be more careful these days, lest the next movement in New York occupy 195 Hudson Street.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek