Well look at what we have here: Jay-Z is being sued…again.
This time, Dwayne Walker, a clothing designer in New York City, is suing Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke (who just started serving a 5 year prison sentence for drug trafficking charges) for $7 million in unpaid royalties, according to the lawsuit filed on Thursday. Walker says back in 1995, he saw the idea Dash was trying to come up with for the Roc-a-fella logo and told him he could do something better. He claims he created the finished design which features the letter “R,” a record and a champagne bottle and should be paid handsomely for the logo which was featured on everything associated with Roc-a-fella Records.
Soooo you waited 17 years to file this lawsuit, Mr. Walker? I could understand if he’d waited until like the early 2000s to file the suit; you know, wait until the label has money rolling in and cash out. But no, not only did he not ever ask for payment upfront (I mean, you have to be pretty naive to believe they’re going to pay you something “eventually,” if that’s what happened), but he then waited until Roc-a-fella was basically defunct to try and get a check. Did he forget that he created and realized it was his whilst looking through old Roc-a-fella cds? Cds that he’s probably owned since 1995?
On the other hand, Damon Dash has always been known as a hustler and so I must say, hearing something like this doesn’t surprise me. If Mr. Walker did, in fact, create the logo, he should have given the guy some money upfront so that this wouldn’t ever come up again (especially if there was some paperwork on it but I know that may be too much to ask for that time period of these dudes who were just tying to “make it”). He could have hooked the young designer up with unlimited concert tickets or something if that would have made him happy.
I suppose we’ll see how this plays out and if there’s any truth to it, Mr. Walker might get a settlement. Either way, I hope that since he is labeled as a clothing designer, he’s smartened up about the business and is making good decisions. By the way, Universal Music Group now owns Roc-a-fella Records.
What do you think? If true, should the former owners be made to pay millions of dollars? Would you ever wait that long to file a lawsuit regarding something this big?