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The Rise and Fall of Roc-A-Fella Records

Roc-A-Fella Records was an American record label founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Damon “Dame” Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke in 1996. The label released albums by Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and Kanye West, among others. Roc-A-Fella was notable for giving artists creative control and ownership of their masters, something that was rare in the music industry at the time.

In 2004, Jay-Z acquired full ownership of the label after a falling out with Dash and Burke. He then relaunched the label under the new name Roc Nation. While the reasons for the breakup are not entirely clear, it is likely that financial disagreements played a role. Jay-Z is now one of the most successful figures in the music industry, and Roc Nation has become one of the most successful record labels in the world.

Who are the founding members of Roc-A-Fella Records?

The founders of Roc-A-Fella Records were Damon Dash, Kareem “Biggs” Burke, and Jay Z.

When did Roc-A-Fella Records first start?

Roc-A-Fella Records was first started by Damon Dash and Jay-Z in 1995.

What was the first album released on Roc-A-Fella Records?

The first album released on Roc-A-Fella Records was Jay-Z’s debut studio album, Reasonable Doubt. The album was released in 1996 and it became an instant classic in the hip-hop genre.

When did Jay-Z start Roc Nation?

In 2008, Jay Z started his own record label, Roc Nation.

What major artists were signed to Roc-A-Fella Records?

Roc-A-Fella Records was responsible for launching the careers of Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, and Kanye West.

How did Def Jam acquire Roc-A-Fella?

In 1997, Jay-Z and his co-founders sold half of Roc-A-Fella to Def Jam for a reported $1.5 million. Seven years later, in 2004, Def Jam bought the other half of Roc-A-Fella for $10 million. In 2005, Jay-Z was named CEO of Def Jam in a deal that allowed him to continue to run Roc-A-Fella.

Why did Jay-Z Sue Dame Dash?

•Hov filed a lawsuit against his former business partner, alleging Dash had stolen the copyright to his 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt, and minted it as an NFT to sell at an auction on June 23rd, 2021.

• The suit claimed Dash was “frantically scouting for another venue to make the sale.”

• The paperwork for the action also provided the copyright split for the album, which evenly divided between Dash, JAY, and fellow Roc-A-Fella founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke.

• Hov’s legal team argued Dash has no right to sell the copyright or any individual ownership interests in Reasonable Doubt because he only owns partial rights to it.

•JAY-Z and Damon Dash eventually settled their feud over Dash’s alleged attempt to sell the copyright to Jay’s Reasonable Doubt as a non-fungible token.

• Under the agreement, Dash can sell his one-third stake in Roc-A-Fella Records, but he cannot “in any way dispose of any property interest in Reasonable Doubt.”

• The agreement also stipulates that RAF “owns all the rights” to Reasonable Doubt, including its copyright, and that no shareholder or member of RAF holds a direct ownership interest in it.

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