Damon Dash is disputing that he is trying to sell Jay-Z’s debut album Reasonable Doubt as an NFT as the two men engage in a tussle over money shares in Roc Nation.
Roc-A-Fella Records filed a lawsuit on Friday in the Southern District Court in New York alleging that Dash was trying to illegally sell the album that Jay-Z‘s debut project released in 1996. The label claims that Dash has no rights in the LP but that the label owns all the rights.
According to the lawsuit, Dash was making plans to sell Reasonable Doubt on digital marketplace SuperFarm without Jay-Z’s permission. It’s unclear how much he is asking, but the auction has been canceled due to the controversy.
Roc-A-Fella also wants an injunction to stop Dash from taking further action regarding the album as they fear he may try to use another platform that will auction the NFT.
Dash, however, says he is a co-founder, and there’s no dispute as to his ownership in the records label, and he is not selling the album but rather shares in the records.
Damon Dash co-founded Ro-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z and Kareem Burke in 1995, and according to him, he owns a third of the label and has the rights to sell his share if he so desires.
Dash added that Jay-Z does not own the album wholly, and in fact, he clarified that he was actually trying to sell his share of the label.
“He lying. That’s a whole lie. JAY owns one-third of Reasonable Doubt,” Page Six quoted him in an interview. “They just said that I tried to sell an NFT of Reasonable Doubt and … it’s not true. I’m not running around to different places trying to auction off Reasonable Doubt. I’ve been working with one platform and that’s SuperFarm.”
Dame Dash continued, “And the thing is I own a third of Roc-A-Fella Records and I can sell my third if I feel like it.”
According to Dash, the lawsuit by Jay-Z comes following his bid to buy Dash’s share for a meager $1.5 million, which he says is not the correct price for his share of rights. He added that the lawsuit is seeking to block him from selling his share to a third party as Jay-Z wants the first option to buy.
It’s unclear if the parties have a contract that will allow Jay-Z to be able to do this, but Dash is angry at the price that Jay-Z offered.
“Jay himself tried to buy my third and it was a crackhead deal. He offered me like I was Pookie or something from New Jack City,” a reference he drew to the crack addict Chris Rock spoke of in his hilarious 1991 New Jack City comedy.
He added that Jay-Z was using his power and influence to bully him.
“That’s what corporate always does to the independent guy. It’s a case of corporate versus independent and how they try to bully me—but they are trying to bully the wrong one,” said the 50-year-old mogul. “It is the same fu**ing game. It just seems like they so mad if I get money. I don’t know why but why can’t I sell my third to who ever I want, whenever I want? I don’t have to ask.”
He also labeled Jay-Z as controlling and vindictive.
“He thinks Roc-A-Fella Records is his—it is ours—and he’s doing all this on Roc-A-Fella’s behalf,” he said. “He’s got ‘only one man to eat’ syndrome and ‘everybody else got to work for him’ syndrome and ‘kiss the ring and we’re gonna mess up his reputation’ syndrome if you look under the hood. It continues to happen.”