Longtime music exec Dame Dash is being sued by the very record label he co-founded for allegedly trying to sell the copyright to Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt” as a non-fungible token, also known as an NFT.
According to Page Six, the lawsuit was filed on Friday, June 18, in New York’s Southern District Court by Jay’s attorney Alex Spiro. Jay’s camp claims that Dash, whose real name is Damon Anthony Dash, “had planned to sell at a SuperFarm Foundation online auction on June 23.. the copyright to JAY-Z’s album ‘Reasonable Doubt,’ recognized as one of the greatest recordings in history. That auction was canceled, and Dash is frantically scouting for another venue to make the sale… The sale of this irreplaceable asset must be stopped before it is too late, and Dash must be held accountable for his theft.”
NFTs are growing in popularity as people begin to learn about and trade more digital currency. In the case of an NFT, an item sold in this form would be the digital equivalent of selling a one-of-a-kind item or trading card. Anything digital can be turned into an NFT, and most are connected to the ethereum blockchain, which is a type of cryptocurrency like bitcoin. This blockchain is where most NFTs are stored, though other blockchains can keep them as well.
Jay, Dash, and Roc-A-Fella co-founder Kareem Burke reportedly own not only one-third of the shares of the record label but of the 1996 project as well. However, the lawsuit claims that Dash “does not own the copyright….and, therefore, has no right to sell the copyright or any individual ownership interests in Reasonable Doubt.” In addition, “Dash can’t sell what he doesn’t own. By attempting such a sale, Dash has converted a corporate asset and has breached his fiduciary duties. The court should stop Dash… and hold him accountable for his brazen theft.”
Spiro sent a letter to SuperFarm, and the auction was ultimately canceled, but says, “Dash has refused to stop his efforts to sell.” Neither Jay nor Dash have commented on the matter.
This is the latest lawsuit involving what many hip hop fans believe is one of the greatest rap albums of all time. Earlier this week, Atlanta Black Star reported that Jay-Z was suing Jonathan Mannion, the hip-hop photographer who shot the album cover art.
Mannion was sued for exploiting Jay’s likeness and image without his permission. When ask to cease sales of products, including artwork and T-shirts featuring Jay’s likeness, Mannion reportedly refused and instead asked the rapper for millions in return. An attorney for the photographer told TMZ in a statement that his client did nothing wrong, adding, “We are confident that the First Amendment protects Mr. Mannion’s right to sell fine art prints of his copyrighted works, and will review the complaint and respond in due course.”