JAY-Z takes a stand: Dame Dash’s Roc-A-Fella shares under fire

A legal showdown unfolds over Roc-A-Fella Records ownership

Stoop Talk With Dame Dash
Stoop Talk With Dame Dash / Johnny Nunez/GettyImages

In a dramatic twist of events, hip-hop mogul JAY-Z has stepped into the legal arena, aiming to halt the sale of Dame Dash’s Roc-A-Fella shares. The iconic label, once a powerhouse in the music industry, now finds itself embroiled in a high-stakes battle over ownership rights.

The court order

The saga began when a judge ordered Dame Dash to sell his shares of Roc-A-Fella Records. The reason? Dash allegedly failed to pay a hefty $823,000 judgment to movie producer Josh Weber, stemming from their collaboration on the 2016 film Dear Frank. The court’s decision set off a chain reaction, pitting former partners against each other.

Jay-Z’s objection

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Both JAY-Z and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, co-founders of Roc-A-Fella, raised their voices in protest. They argued that company bylaws mandate board approval for major sell-offs. However, U.S. Magistrate Robert W. Lehrburger ruled that Dash’s one-third ownership of Roc-A-Fella could indeed be seized to cover the judgment. Why? Because it constitutes his personal property.

A no-sell clause

Lehrburger’s 15-page decision didn’t mince words. He chastised Jay-Z and Biggs for creating a no-sell clause during a 2021 board meeting—one that Dame Dash neither attended nor voted for.

"The ruling left Roc-A-Fella with no choice but to deliver Dash’s stock certificate to the U.S. Marshals Service for auction within 180 days."

The bigger picture

Jay-Z and Biggs’ objections extend beyond loyalty to Dame. Their concern lies in the potential acquisition of Roc-A-Fella’s intellectual rights by an outsider. Lehrburger’s solution?

"They can participate in the auction and place the winning bid."

The backstory

Dame Dash’s legal woes trace back to the film Dear Frank. Initially asked to direct the movie, he was later removed from the project due to alleged incompetence. Lawsuits followed, with movie producer Josh Weber and Muddy Water Pictures claiming copyright infringement and defamation. Dash maintained that they shot the film at his home using his equipment, only for them to proceed without him.

In this high-stakes battle, Roc-A-Fella’s legacy hangs in the balance. Will Dame Dash’s shares find a new home, or will Jay-Z’s intervention tip the scales? Only time—and the auction block—will tell.