Jay-Z has often talked about being the most connected man in the industry; well now it seems as if his political ties are apparently stirring up a bit of controversy.
According to the New York Post, the rap mogul’s involvement with the Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG)—the consortium chosen to run a multi-billion dollar race track/casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens and his connection with New York state Governor David Patterson —has ignited a federal investigation.
According to reports, authorities are more than skeptical about the selection of AEG to operate the new venture and what role Jay played in swaying New York Governor David Patterson’s decision.
Paterson, who is known for having a relationship with the 40-year-old rapper—has a seven percent stake in AEG and according to sources, knew that Jay-Z had been trying to get involved with the investment since last year. One source reportedly told the Post that Jay eventually linked up with casino mogul Steve Wynn, who at the time was bidding for control.
According to reports [Gov.] Patterson advised Wynn that “he needed to have a minority partner” and that is when, according to sources, Wynn reached out to Jay-Z. But when Wynn pulled out, Jay-Z was without a home.
The source then claims that when Wynn’s deal went sour, AEG scooped up Jay to appeal to the governor.
AEG denies that it tapped the Hip-Hop heavyweight to win the governor’s favor.
“Given [Jay-Z’s] superstardom and his long and deep connection to New York, the partners thought he could bring a unique perspective to shaping a facility that would truly be an entertainment destination,” AEG spokesman Jonathan Rosen told the New York Post. “The partners were looking to bring in someone who could bring marketing and community advice to the team.”
A rep for Paterson also refuted the claims.
“There is absolutely no relationship between Governor Paterson’s friendship with Jay-Z and the choice of AEG.”
The Governor was personally invited as Jay’s guest during his 9-11 benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, has been spotted dining with the rap star and has spoken to several publications about Jay’s importance to the city of NY.
As of press time Jay has yet to comment on the report.
This story sounds more than suspicious to me, but we will be sure to keep you updated as this story develops.