JAY-Z’s debut album Reasonable Doubt from 1996 will forever be acknowledged as a classic in his discography, housing songs like “D’evils” and “Can’t Knock the Hustle” with Mary J. Blige. However, recently, much controversy has surrounded the project.
Last summer, Jay-Z filed a lawsuit against photographer Jonathan Mannion and his company Jonathan Mannion Photographer LLC for using Jay-Z’s name and image without his consent. Mannion shot the cover for Jay-Z’s classic 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt and the rapper claims that he’s been using the photos to make “thousands of dollars” selling prints and merchandise over the years. When Jay asked Mannion to stop, the photographer requested “tens of millions of dollars,” prompting the lawsuit. The two attempted to reach a settlement, but neither party was able to reach an agreement. Now the lawsuit will go to trial.
“Plaintiff Shawn Carter and Defendants Jonathan Mannion and Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC participated in a mediation before the Honorable Terry Friedman (Ret.) on January 5, 2022,” court documents obtained in the lawsuit read, according to HipHop-N-More (via AllHipHop). “The parties were unable to reach an agreement to resolve this case.” As a result, a trial date for July 22, 2022 has been set in order to bring the matter to court.
This comes after he, Big Sean, Fat Joe, Killer Mike, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, and more rallied in support of a proposed New York State bill that would prohibit rap lyrics from being used in criminal trials. Bill S.7527/A.8681 — “Rap Music on Trial” — was proposed in November and it passed through the Senate earlier this week.
Now, the case will head to trial with a summer court date on July 22. Both Hov and Mannion seem insistent that they are in the right.