Speaking of 99 problems, it was 1999 when Jay-Z started Rocawear with his business partner. Their plan for the name was to match Roc-A-Fella Records. The latter is the company they co-own with another partner.
Rocawear was off to a good start, and by 2007, its revenue had reached an impressive $700 million. That year, the rights to the brand were sold to a company named Iconix Brand Group for $204 million. Jay-Z still retained his part ownership in the company and continued to work on marketing and development.
Jay-Z and The Law
Trouble started when the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoenaed Jay-Z in November 2017. Jay was called to testify about Iconix because of their alleged violations of SEC rules surrounding financial reporting.
Jay has still not appeared in court. His lawyers have argued that since he was not part of the Iconix company, he should not be bothered. On top of that, his lawyers stated that his busy touring schedule would not allow him to appear. Amusingly, the name of the tour wasOn the Run. It’s hard to say if this was a coincidence, a publicity stunt, or a great inside joke. Regardless of why, it’s perfect. Jay-Z has stayed “on the run” for about 5 months since the date that the subpoena told him to appear.
As you might expect, Jay’s absence has not pleased the court. U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe is presiding over the case. In response to Jay-Z skillfully dodging the appearance, Judge Gardephe has said:
“This testimony has been delayed for five months, and I do not intend to tolerate any more delays.”
Jay-Z is supposed to appear on May 15th next, when we will see if he shows up or not. If he doesn’t, perhaps he will finally round it off to a clean 100 problems.