Jay-Z sued over royalties for his debut album

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Jay-ZImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jay-Z is being sued by a former producer of his debut album

Jay-Z is being sued by a producer who says the rapper owes him a decade of royalties from his 1996 debut album.

In documents obtained by Pitchfork, Raynard "Ray Rae" Herbert claims he helped master the album Reasonable Doubt and contributed to its distribution.

It's claimed he was promised 1% of the profits in exchange, but payments stopped with no explanation in 2008.

Co-founders of Jay-Z's record company are also named in the lawsuit.

Image source, Getty Images
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Jay-Z and Kareem Burke are both named in the lawsuit over Reasonable Doubt royalties

Jay-Z founded Roc-A-Fella Records with "Dame" Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke in 1995.

The year before that Raynard and Jay-Z reportedly met and started working together on the album a year later.

After helping to set up the album's distribution deal, Raynard agreed to 1% of the album's profits and received his first cheque in December 1998.

However, the former producer claims he hasn't been paid since 2008 and is suing for an amount "in excess of $75,000" (almost £56,000).

He says he reached out in 2010 about the outstanding payments, but had no success.

Raynard says the 48-year-old rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, acted "with malice and in conscious disregard" of his rights and is suing for breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jay-Z celebrates the 10th anniversary of Reasonable Doubt

Reasonable Doubt was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and debuted at 23 on the Billboard 200 chart.

In addition to the 1% he's owed, Raynard is also asking for interest and damages.

Newsbeat has contacted representatives at Roc Nation for comment, but they haven't yet responded.

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