Jay Z Wins Legal Battle Against Former Engineer With Unreleased Tapes

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Two years ago, Jay Z and Roc Nation were alarmed to learn of a former Roc-A-Fella Records engineer who was accused of trying to sell master recordings. Chauncey Mahan, a Roc recording engineer who worked on 1999’s Vol. 3…Life And Times Of S. Carter and other early 2000s material originally sought $100,000 from Live Nation, one of Jay’s partners to purchase 45 recordings—some unreleased outtakes and full songs. After the parties agreed (reportedly at $75,000), Mahan was arrested by police outside a storage unit for extortion.


Today (February 24), Mahan was ruled to be in the wrong by a Manhattan 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. According to Billboard, the engineer claimed partial ownership to the valuable materials, but the district court ruled that too much time had passed for the former employee to claim ownership. Not only was Mahan not granted ownership, he must now pay Hov and Roc Nation’s legal fees—including the appeals costs.

Related: Jay Z Reacts to His First TV Appearance & Recalls Battling Busta Rhymes in High School (Video)

Vol. 3 is Jay’s third album, and has been certified triple-platinum.

Jay Z has not traditionally released many archival songs, takes, or legacy remixes.

Related: Former Roc-A-Fella Engineer Reportedly Uses Extortion To Give Back Vintage Jay Z Master Recordings