Roc-A-Fella records is suing their co-founder Damon Dash for allegedly trying to auction Jay-Z’s 1996 album, Reasonable Doubt, as an NFT. The record company is claiming that because the rights to the album belong to the label, Dash cannot legally sell it, according to Pitchfork.
Dash’s attempted auction has since been canceled, though he is allegedly searching for another venue to make the sale.
Dash has since stated to TMZ that Roc-A-Fella’s claim is incorrect, and that he was allegedly trying to sell his share of the record company rather than the album itself. Dash had served as Jay-Z’s business partner and manager at Roc-A-Fella Records, having organized one of his tour’s and produced Reasonable Doubt. His relationship with Jay-Z has since turned sour, and his search for a buyer for his share will include Jay-Z having exclusive administrative rights.
NFTs, at base level, are a form of cryptocurrency. They’re a non-fungible token that’s comparable to bitcoin in that they are both virtual currencies that cannot be counterfeit. Because they’re non-fungible, NFTs cannot be easily interchanged for monetary value.
Musicians have begun using NFTs as a resource for making the most money out of their music. Because they’re able to directly sell and distribute their music, they’re able to keep all of the profits. Many artists have also begun using NFTs to sell partial rights to their music.
Jay-Z removed the album from Spotify in 2018, instead moving it to his own streaming service called Tidal.
Photo credit: Sharon Alagna