The Roc Star CEO of Jay-Z's Empire
As CEO of Roc Nation, Bronx-born Desiree Perez is the engine behind multihyphenate superstar Sean “Jay-Z” Carter’s management, publishing, label, social justice and live operations. Her team’s goal is to continue shaping culture and setting trends, which means Perez can’t be afraid to shatter boundaries while creating space for herself at the table. “I walk into a room, we’re doing a $200 million deal, and it’s 30 white people in the room, or all men,” she told Billboard. “Little by little, as you evolve, you have to straighten some people out…and kind of push your way forward.” Never one to shy away from adversity, Desiree leans on the leadership skills she gained early on as a club manager, which led to her partnering with Jay-Z to launch the wildly successful 40/40 Club. Roc Nation’s continued growth is assured by Desiree’s confidence in her own creative vision. “I literally touch everything in the company,” she explains. “I want to make sure [we] always gets the best result.”
Jay Z’s expansive, immersive Book of HOV exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library came to life under the direction of Desiree Perez and team Roc. The multimedia experience allows fans to explore a life-sized replica of the recording studio where the rapper crafted many of his hits, and includes rare photos and thousands of personal mementos. Lyrics are displayed across the library’s facade, which is designed to look like an open book. Additionally, a blue LED cube outside the building plays video footage from the mogul’s career. The exhibit has been so successful that it’s been extended through December, with the addition of Jay Z’s signature off-white Lexus. While Roc Nation’s annual Made in America Festival, a massive two-day live music event that descends on Philadelphia every Labor Day weekend, was put on pause this year — Roc Nation artist Alicia Keys represented on her “Keys to the Summer” tour with a rotating stage offering the audience a 360-degree view. And we can’t NOT mention Roc Nation’s partnership with the NFL, which began in 2019 and has shifted to more inclusive (and entertaining) Super Bowl Halftime Show performances.