While Friday, June 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Jay-Z’s classic debut Reasonable Doubt and is a cause for celebration, the album comes with its fair share of tribulations.
For years the rift between Hova and Dame Dash has been obvious as the former friends turned rivals have been not so subliminally taking shots at one another in various ways, shapes, and form. While many Hip-Hoppers have hoped that the two would hash things out and just be on friendlier terms, the recent lawsuit filed by Jay-Z to keep Dame from selling Reasonable Doubt as an NFT is more proof that reconciliation between the two is a crack pipe dream at this point.
But this isn’t the first time that the classic album in question has been part of some kind of controversy as its very existence has spawned all kinds of tails, rumors, and drama.
So to keep y’all updated on how we’ve gotten this far, we compliled some of the more interesting stories surrounding Jay-Z’s seminal Reasonable Doubt.
In 2018 Raynard Herbert filed a lawsuit against Jay claiming that he was being cheated out of royalties for mastering the classic 90’s album and arranging Roc-A-Fella Records’ original distribution agreement with Priority Records. Not only did he sue Jay-Z and Roc Nation but also went after his former partners in Roc-A-Fella Records Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke alleging that his checks stopped getting cut in 2008. The lawsuit was dismissed a year later.
Can’t Knock The Hustle
Featuring Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z’s hit single “Can’t Knock The Hustle” was bumping out of speakers all over BK, but when it came time to drop a video, Roc-A-Fella couldn’t clear her to appear in the clip. Why? Well, rumor has it she was dating a member of the OG Roc-A-Fella crew and while that was enough to get her on the track, their love affair wasn’t enough to translate that into a video appearance (blame the label). You ain’t hear that from us though.
Originally a beat for 90’s rap group Camp Lo, word has it that Jay-Z heard the track and pressed producer Ski Beatz for the joint. In the midst of the “negotiations” promises were made and broken, and ultimately, Hova ended up with another classic on his debut album. You can peep Camp Lo’s original version below.
Roc-A-Fella For Reasonable Doubt
Back when Jay-Z accepted the job to become Def Jam’s next CEO & President, Dame Dash and Kareem Burks were shocked that he would claim full ownership of the Roc-A-Fella brand. Looking to strike a deal, Jay offered not only Roc-A-Fella and walking away from his new position, but even the masters to all his other albums if they gave him full ownership of Reasonable Doubt as it was his “baby.” They balked at the proposal and the rift between the old friends began something serious.
NFT Deal On The Rocks
The latest drama surrounding RD came when Dame Dash tried to auction off an NFT of the album only to be stopped in his tracks by Jay-Z who filed a lawsuit to block it from going on the block. A judge granted Jay his motion and now the thing sits in limbo with Dame Dash claiming he has every right to move the NFT like fine China in these streets. We don’t know if he’ll ever be able to get that chance but best believe he and Jay won’t be coming to any agreement over that sale anytime soon.
Speaking of Reasonable Doubt, TIDAL cooked up content to celebrate the 25th anniversary.