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Jay-Z gets sued over failure to pay royalties

Raynard Herbert has sued Jay-Z over a dispute on royalties from the sales of his hit album, Reasonable Doubt. The album was released back in 1996 and helped Jay-Z to get the limelight in the music arena.

The complaint was filed in the southern district of New York by Herbert who is also known as “Ray Rae”. He claims that he was responsible for managing the music for Roc-A-Fella records and signed a distribution agreement with Priority Records for 1% of the profits. He started to receive payment checks from December 1998; however, the royalty checks stopped coming after November 2008. He also stated that he made numerous inquiries after that time about the outstanding royalty payments.

The defendants in the case are Jay-Z, executive producers Damon Dash and Kareem Burke of Reasonable Doubt album, Roc-A-Fella and Roc Nation record labels. In the lawsuit, Herbert claims that he is not aware of the damages caused by the defendants; however, the amount outstanding is substantial. The lawsuit also states that the in withholding the outstanding payments, Jay-Z has engaged in fraudulent and oppressive behavior which he committed with malice and disregard of Herbert’s rights.

Reasonable Doubt has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and was released in the summer of 1996. It has been regarded as a landmark achievement for Jaz-Z and one that actually kicked off his career in music even though it is the lowest selling album of Jay-Z. He is currently on a 39-city tour with his wife Beyoncé.

Last month, it was also revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission started an investigation into a clothing brand that Jay-Z started in 1999 under the name of Rocawear. The brand has come under investigation for financial reporting when it was sold off to Iconix for $200 million in 2007.

  • Jay-Z
  • Raynard Herbert
  • Reasonable doubt
  • Roc Nation