It's hardly surprising that Jay Z and Beyoncé are moving to Los Angeles. The real surprise is that they didn't do it sooner.
It's no secret that New York City has ceded the music industry to other, more affordable cities such as Los Angeles and Nashville. The exodus of recording studios, musicians, songwriters and producers has become such an concern that a bill -- The Empire State Music Production Tax Credit -- was sponsored last year by Assemb. Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and state Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn). The goal was to make it more financially attractive for recording studios to operate in New York. However, it didn't make it out of committee.
The writing has been on the wall for almost a decade since online downloads decimated the music biz and producers started making beats on their laptops, recording vocals in their bedrooms, instead of hiring out lavish facilities. When recording studio The Hit Factory -- where mega selling albums by Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Bruce Springstein to name a few -- shut its doors on West 54th Street in 2005 and reopened as high-end condominiums two years later, it was clear where the real money was at.
Gentrifying New York City had simply priced out its musical community. Many of the collaborators who Jay Z and Beyoncé rely on to craft their street savvy anthems are finding their inspiration in Brentwood, California, instead of Bed-Stuy. So why should hip-hop's most fab couple continue battle it out in the Big Apple?
The other consideration is that record labels have generally been consolidated within larger entertainment conglomerates mostly located in Los Angeles. It makes sense for film and TV tie-ins.
For New Yorkers bemoaning the loss of Jay & Bey, let's be honest: It's really Jay Z you're mourning. A native son, his music was the soundtrack to your lives. It encapsulated a magical era that is now over. You can't buy a brownstone in Bed-Stuy for under $1 million and Jay himself is 45. He can't rap about growing up in the Marcy Houses forever.
In fact, as he expands his ever-growing list of business interests to include sports management and music streaming, it was inevitable that he'd be spending more time on the West Coast.
As he himself once proudly proclaimed, you "Can't Knock The Hustle."