By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated November 15, 2010 at 05:25 PM EST
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Image Credit: Terrence Jennings/Retna Ltd; Walter McBride/Retna LtdJay-Z surprised the world Friday night by announcing that New Orleans rap phenomenon Jay Electronica is the latest signee to his Roc Nation label. This is big news for hip-hop heads. While the wider world may still know Jay Electronica best as the father of Erykah Badu‘s youngest daughter, he’s acquired a devoted following with just a small handful of tracks like last year’s “Exhibit C.” Fans have been saying that the enigmatic lyricist is destined for greatness for a few years now. Could Jay-Z’s support make it all come true?

The first tangible result of the new deal hit the Web today. It’s a track called “Shiny Suit Theory,” credited to Jay Electronica featuring Jay-Z and R&B singer-songwriter The-Dream, and it is pretty great. (Hear it at Rap Radar.) Jay Elec’s first verse lays out his growing ambitions over a dusty sample-based beat, as he recalls sometime mentor Diddy advising him, “F— the underground, you need to win a Grammy/For your mama and your family.” Jay-Z’s verse reminds us that he too worked his way up from nothing: “Can it be the same one on covers with Warren Buffett/Was ducking the undercovers?” In other words, he adds a few lines later, “I’m the immaculate conception of rappers-slash-hustlers.” Really, both Jays drop too many quotables to list concisely here, which is exactly why it’s so exciting that they’re teaming up.

Anyone else psyched about Jay-Z signing Jay Electronica? Which Roc Nation affiliate do you hope Jay Elec will record with next — Willow Smith? J. Cole? Rihanna? Sound off in the comments.

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