A lawsuit filed by JAY-Z claims his former business partner was set to auction the copyright to the classic debut album next week.
According to Page Six, Hov filed a lawsuit against his former business partner, alleging Dash had stolen the copyright to his 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt, and minted it as an NFT to sell at an auction on June 23rd (two days shy of the album’s 25th-anniversary.) And though JAY’s legal team headed off the sale by having the auction house SuperFarm cancel the attempted sale, the suit claims Dash is “frantically scouting for another venue to make the sale.” The paperwork for the action also provides the copyright split for the album, which evenly divided between Dash, JAY, and fellow Roc-A-Fella founder, Kareem “Biggs” Burke.
The suit goes on to quote SuperFarm’s auction description, in which the sale is referred to as “a new milestone in the history of NFTs.” The auction house adds the NFT would “prove ownership of the album’s copyright, transferring the rights to all future revenue generated by the album from Damon Dash to the auction winner.” Hov’s legal team is arguing Dash, as only a partial owner, “has no right to sell the copyright or any individual ownership interests in Reasonable Doubt.” Dash has yet to offer comment on the suit or the accusations listed in it.
Released in 1996, Reasonable Doubt was both a critical and commercial triumph for JAY-Z. A mafia rap masterpiece, the album packed a massive guest list, including Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., Foxy Brown, and Memphis Bleek, with production mostly handled by DJ Premier, Ski, and Clark Kent. It debuted at No. 23 on Billboard’s albums chart and went on to sell more than a million copies.
This story is still developing. Hold tight for updates in the days ahead.