Jay-Z Details the Origin of the Roc Diamond Hand Symbol

The sign was created thanks to R&B group Christión.

Getty Images/R. Diamond / WireImage

Jay-Z went into detail about how the iconic Roc-A-Fella diamond hand sign was created.

In his interview with Gayle King on CBS Mornings, the Roc Nation boss explained how he and his Roc-A-Fella crew came up with the gesture that's been used by associated artists and fans all over the world.

Speaking inside the Brooklyn Public Library's Book of Hov exhibit, Jay said the idea for the sign came up when the label was working with the R&B group Christión in late 1996. 

"When we first started, we had this group called Christión," Jay said. "When you sell 10 million, you go diamond. We believed in them so heavy it was like, 'This group is going to sell 10 million records!' So we start putting the diamond up for Christión. That's how it all came about, and then we started playing with it, and then we started doing it at shows, then the whole crowd started doing it."

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The hand sign would go on to be one of the most recognizable signals in hip-hop. There was a time, however, when people believed a conspiracy theory that it was confirmation of Jay-Z's membership in the Illuminati.

Despite those unfounded rumors, the hand sign is a hot commodity. Former professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page used a variation, and because of that, he sued the Brooklyn rap legend for trademark and copyright infringement as well as misappropriation of the symbol. Jay-Z and DDP ended up settling out of court, where the rapper paid the former wrestler an unspecified amount.

In 2018, Jay filed legal documents to obtain exclusive rights to the iconic symbol. The trademark enables Hov to use the symbol in a variety of spaces including music, video, TV, and film.  

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