JAY-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke founded the legendary Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995 under the Def Jam Recordings umbrella and managed to put out dozens of albums, including classics such as JAY-Z’s The Blueprint and Kanye West’s The College Dropout.
But friction between the three Hip Hop moguls reportedly ripped the imprint apart and it dissolved in 2013. Eight years later, JAY-Z wound up filing a lawsuit against Dash last month for attempting to auction off Hov’s 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt as an NFT.
JAY-Z ultimately emerged victorious in court and Dash was prohibited from doing anything of the sort. But according to Dash, JAY-Z’s issues didn’t stem from him — instead, he blamed the label’s downfall on Burke.
“The reason Roc-A-Fella Records broke up in the first place was ’cause he didn’t want to break bread with Biggs no more,” Dash explained during an interview with The Social Proof Podcast. “I was like, ‘Yo, we could start something different,’ but I can’t do that to Biggs. He didn’t want Biggs to be a part of it anymore. That’s what happened.”
Judging by a recent photograph, however, it looks like JAY-Z and Burke’s relationship is strong.
On Thursday (June 8), veteran Hip Hop artist DJ Clark Kent — who produced three songs on Reasonable Doubt — shared an Instagram photo of himself, Burke and JAY-Z.
He wrote in the caption, “The Manager • The MC • The DJ • (always great to see my brothers).”
While there was no direct reference to Damon Dash’s comments, one wonders if the photo was deliberately posted to shut him up. After all, Dash also claimed, “They [JAY-Z and Burke] weren’t speaking for like two years and no one knew, though. I don’t know why they would want to devalue my third — I don’t get it.”
In late June, Dash claimed JAY-Z’s lawsuit was “full of inaccuracies” and explained it wasn’t just Reasonable Doubt he was trying to sell. Rather, he wanted to sell his entire stake in Roc-A-Fella Records.
He said JAY-Z attempted to buy his one-third share of Roc-A-Fella in March at a price he “deemed unacceptable,” so he wanted to find another buyer. When and if he finds the buyer, Dash said “Under the terms of the deal with a potential buyer, the buyer would buy my share of Roc a Fella Records and JAY-Z will have exclusive administration rights.”
Dash believed the lawsuit, which was filed on June 18, was “a scare tactic to prevent him from selling something he believes he has the legal right to sell.”