One way to ruin a relationship with someone you formerly did business with is to extort that person. But that isn’t stopping a producer who once worked for Jay Z.
Allegedly, Chauncey Mahan has been sitting on a gold mine of master recordings that Jay Z did back in 2002. The masters include more than 50 original recordings from the Volume 3 and Dynasty albums, worth an estimated $15 million to $20 million, according to New York’s Daily News. Apparently Mahan is now trying to “charge” Jay Z a $100,000 “storage fee.”
In Mahan’s mind, he’s been doing Jay Z and Roc Nation a favor by holding on to the masters for all these years, but authorities don’t exactly see it that way. On Friday Mahan was detained by police after Roc Nation accused him of stealing the recordings and holding them for ransom.
In his own defense, Mahan says that he’s actually tried to contact Jay Z’s people to let them know he has the masters, but they blew him off. Mahan says he only asked for the $100,000 because he could no longer afford to keep up the storage.
Police have now taken possession of the master recordings, and it’ll be up to a judge to decide who the rightful owner is.
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.