Late on Tuesday (July 13), the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records filed a summons in the Manhattan Supreme Court in New York City alleging that Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z for transferring the streaming rights of the Reasonable Doubt album to a company called S. Carter Enterprises LLC without proper authorization. Jay-Z is listed as the sole owner of the company. According to the filing, Dash is seeking at least $1 million in damages. Alex Spiro, the lawyer representing Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records, declined to comment when contacted about the new summons. The summons is only one page, and more details to the allegations are expected to be filed soon.
This is the latest battle between the two former business partners and collaborators that involves the iconic debut album of Jay-Z, released in 1996. Within the past month, Dash and Jay-Z have been wrangling over control of the auction of a proposed NFT (non-fungible token). Jay-Z’s claim in these proceedings against Dash was that the 50-year music producer wanted to sell the album’s copyright, but Dash claims that his intent was to sell off one-third of Roc-A-Fella Records. To make things a bit more complex, Dash was upset at the legal team that now represents Roc-A-Fella-Records and disputed their authority to bring suit against him during those proceedings. That auction was halted in court and was called off as the court case was still pending.
Reasonable Doubt has also sparked a legal battle between Jay-Z and renowned photographer Jonathan Mannion where the rapper sued Mannion over the usage of his likeness in the cover photography on the album.