Could this be the end of the Roc Boys for good?
Jay-Z is suing his former Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder, Damon Dash.
According to Page Six, Jay-Z’s attorneys are accusing Dash of trying to sell his debut album “Reasonable Doubt” as a non-fungible token (NFT), a new form of currency that’s making waves on the art market. They allege that he is attempting to do so without Jay-Z’s permission.
In paperwork filed on Friday in New York’s Southern District Court, Jay-Z’s lawyers issued the following statement:
“Dash had planned to sell at a SuperFarm Foundation online auction on Jun. 23…the copyright to Jay-Z’s album ‘Reasonable Doubt,’ recognized as one of the greatest recordings in history.”
The documents also further explain that Jay-Z along with his Roc-A-Fella co-founders Dash and Kareem Burke all own one-third of the shares in the record label and in his 1996 album “Reasonable Doubt.”
It also explains that the mentioned auction has now been canceled.
“That auction was canceled and Dash is frantically scouting for another venue to make the sale…The sale of this irreplaceable asset must be stopped before it is too late, and Dash must be held accountable for his theft,” read the documents.
According to Page Six, paperwork filed “alleges that Dash saw an opportunity in the fast emerging NFT market and ‘sought to cash in by actioning the copyright to Reasonable Doubt as an NFT.’ Jay believes Dash has already minted the album as an NFT and intends to sell it ‘as soon as possible.’”
The lawsuit also notes that Dash does not have the right to sell the album.
“Dash can’t sell what he doesn’t own,” read the court papers. “By attempting such a sale, Dash has converted a corporate asset and has breached his fiduciary duties. The court should stop Dash… and hold him accountable for his brazen theft.”
The papers also note that after Jay-Z’s lawyers sent a letter to SuperFarm the auction was canceled, but Dash is still continuing efforts to sell the album.
“This marks a new milestone in the history of NFTs, entitling the new owner to future revenue generated by the unique asset,” read the original announcement for the SuperFarm auction. “The newly minted NFT will 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.”
While Dash does still own a portion of Roc-A-Fella, the lawsuit makes it clear that he, “merely owns a 1/3 equity interest in Roc-A-Fella Inc, he does not own the copyright…and therefore has no right to sell the copyright or any individual ownership interests in ‘Reasonable Doubt.'”