JAY-Z Sued Over Royalties From Debut Album ‘Reasonable Doubt’
Although JAY-Z’s debut album Reasonable Doubt was released in 1996, the music mogul is being sued by a man who claims that he helped the rapper land a distribution deal back in the day in exchange for royalties.
In his lawsuit against the Jigga Man, Raynard Herbert (who goes by Ray Rae in the court document obtained by Pitchfork) says that he used his connections to help Jay land a deal at Roc-A-Fella Records, and also helped him master the album. He claims that Jay was paying him the one percent royalties he was promised from 1998 until 2008, but hasn’t received a royalty check since. The Guardian writes that Herbert reportedly made “numerous inquiries” starting in the year 2010 about the outstanding payments to no avail.
Roc-A-Fella, Roc Nation, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke are also named in the lawsuit along with JAY-Z; the men are both listed as executive producers on the Brooklyn MC’s inaugural effort.
“Herbert’s attorney Kevon Glickman claims the plaintiff ‘is not presently aware of the exact amounts of damages resulting from defendants’ breach’ but adds that ‘the sum of money is substantial,'” the site reads. Herbert says that Jay acted “with malice and in conscious disregard” of his rights. Neither JAY-Z nor a spokesperson for him have commented on the matter.