Jay Z
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Jay-Z is being accused of withholding royalties from his distributor

But he's too busy touring with Queen B and suing Harvey Weinstein

Jay-Z's in some trouble.

What it means: Jay-Z's already been in the papers for some economics controversies recently: Rocawear, the clothing brand he founded in 1999 and sold to a company called Iconix in 2007, is being investigated for false financial reporting, and he was asked to testify in court. His lawyer said no – he was just a guy who made a sale, they said, and what the company did after that was none of this business.

Now, he's back in the headlines, this time for being accused of withholding royalties from Raynard Herbert, who mastered and arranged distributions for Jay-Z's debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996.

Royalties are a percentage of the profit from a piece of work which the creator agrees to pay the people involved in production – whether that's a publisher, agent, or in this case, distributor. Herbert says he received his share til 2008, but then the checks just stopped coming.

1% might not seem like much: but given Reasonable Doubt has sold over 2 million copies, it's a lotta cash. Jay-Z's spokespeople haven't commented on the allegations: they're actually wrapped up in a similar case with the Weinstein Company at the moment, except in that one it's Jay-Z accusing Weinstein of not paying him for producing a few tracks.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?