A Bronx man is claiming to be the creator of a logo designed for Jay Z’s former record label, Roc-A-Fella Records, and he’s demanding the hip-hop mogul to pay up.
Dwayne Walker sued the rapper in 2012 for $7 million in Manhattan Federal Court, alleging that he was locked out of royalties for the design he made in 1995, reports the New York Daily News.
But in April, Jay Z’s attorney, Cynthia Arato, identified another man as the designer: Adrien Vargas.
Vargas said he doesn’t believe he’s entitled to royalties from the design, which is an image of a vinyl record and the letter “R.”
“(The logo is) in the possession of the person who commissioned the work,” Vargas said, according to court documents. “They own the rights. You hand that over when you hand over the work.”
But when Vargas revealed he never signed any documents regarding the work, it opened up a loophole that could potentially give him a claim on the design, Walker’s attorney Greg Berry argues.
Berry suspects Vargas was getting bad advice from Jay Z’s attorney, and still holds to the argument that his client, Walker, is the actual designer of the logo and not Vargas.
“According to Vargas’ current testimony, he created the logo himself and never signed any agreements regarding transferring or licensing the property rights in the logo,” Berry wrote, seeking to bar Jay Z’s lawyers from advising Vargas due to a conflict of interest, the Daily News reports. “If Vargas’ testimony were true (it is not), then he would own the rights to the logo.”
Despite the back and forth in court between both Vargas and Walker’s lawyers, Jay Z has said he does not remember ever meeting Walker.
(Photo: Mike Pont/FilmMagic)