Roc-A-Fella Records – the record label started by Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke in 1995 – is suing Dash for allegedly trying to sell the copyright to Jay-Z’s debut album, "Reasonable Doubt."
According to the complaint, Dash doesn’t own "Reasonable Doubt." Rather, Roc-a-Fella does. Because Dash owns only one-third of the record label, the suit alleges that the copyright to "Reasonable Doubt" was not his to sell.
Dash’s auction in partnership with the non-fungible token (NFT) platform SuperFarm was scheduled to run from Wednesday through Friday, but was cancelled after Roc-A-Fella’s lawyers sent letters to both Dash and SuperFarm. And yet the complaint alleges that Dash is still “frantically scouting for another venue to make the sale” – and may have already minted an NFT.
The NFT market for digital collectibles from musical artists and star athletes is booming, and many celebrities are savvy investors and crypto enthusiasts themselves. In February, Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey, the billionaire founder of Square and Twitter, donated 500 bitcoin to launch a development fund focused on increasing crypto adoption in Africa and India.
In March, Square bought Jay-Z’s music streaming service, Tidal, and NFT market experts speculated that NFTs might be the reason behind Dorsey’s investment. Though the NFT market might still be a crypto Wild West, the suit indicates that celebrities like Jay-Z are learning fast enough to avoid being taken advantage of.
In a comment provided to TMZ, Dash denied trying to sell "Reasonable Doubt." Instead, he claimed he was only trying to sell his stake in Roc-A-Fella. Dash told TMZ that Jay-Z offered to buy him out in March but he found the offer “unacceptable.”