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.
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.