The Damon Dash and Jay-Z beef has just kicked up a notch now that the “Reasonable Doubt” non-fungible token (NFT) auction could still be underway.
Last month, AfroTech reported that Jay-Z proceeded with a lawsuit against his former business partner for trying to sell his 1996 debut album as an NFT without his permission. But Dash, a Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder, has his mind set on selling his portion of the record label despite legal threats.
According to Variety, the legal proceedings between the two went beyond the NFT sale. While Dash was waiting to “mint” the album, his lawyer sued Jay-Z for supposedly switching the streaming rights for “Reasonable Doubt” from Roc-A-Fella Inc. to the rapper’s own LLC in licensing the music to Spotify, Apple and other streaming platforms.
The outlet also reported that Dash’s lawyers then filed a summons in New York Supreme Court on July 13 with these claims — which included breach of fiduciary duty — that Jay-Z transferred all streaming rights to the album “without authorization or agreement” from all Roc-A-Fella Inc. partners. As a result, Dash is asking for $1 million in damages.
Yet and still, issues have escalated on Jay-Z’s end as Dash’s NFT auction was upsetting to discover.
“I don’t know why you are so mad at me wanting to sell my third that you lie on me in court,” Dash told Variety in an exclusive interview of the lawsuit he was approached with from Jay-Z’s lawyers. “I didn’t get caught selling my third before this because I didn’t try to sell my third before this. I’m not trying to sell everybody else’s third. Just mine. … I’m gonna sell it without anybody bothering me.”
According to Dash, the confusion surrounding his NFT auction made it seem as though he was attempting to sell the entire record label. However, he says Jay-Z’s team is accusing him of something he didn’t do. From his perspective, he’s “doing what the law is permitting me to do.”
“The misinformation was put out there from me selling my third of the company. It wasn’t misconceived. It was a lie,” Dash continued. “Jay doesn’t have the authority to move for Roc-A-Fella. He gets all his lawyers, and they make a case for Roc-A-Fella against me. I’m still the CEO and director of Roc-A-Fella. So, that’s questionable. Why are you pretending you’re the boss, when I’m the boss?”
Another report from Variety states that Dash has officially started his auction for his third of Roc-A-Fella Inc. — and its sole asset, Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt” album — with a starting bid of $10 million.
The auction’s website states that “Damon Dash is auctioning his 1/3 interest in Roc-A-Fella Inc, which owns ‘Reasonable Doubt,’ Jay-Z’s first album.” Telling potential buyers that they can “own a moment in time when ‘Reasonable Doubt’ changed hip-hop culture.”
Though Jay-Z and his lawyers stopped the sale of the NFT back in June, it’s unclear whether they will move forward with preventing this auction from proceeding as well.
After news of the lawsuit circulated, Jay-Z came forward with his own “Reasonable Doubt” NFT to commemorate the album’s 25th anniversary. As previously reported by AfroTech, the Hip-Hop mogul teamed up with artist Derrick Adams to create a one-of-a-kind animated digital artwork of the album’s cover to be auctioned off in a single-lot auction.
Will this be the end of the “Reasonable Doubt” NFT drama between the two former business associates? Only time will tell.