Chauncey Mahan is not the bad guy in a rumored extortion plot over Jay Z's lost recordings, his lawyer says, because the one-time producer and engineer for Roc-A-Fella Records was hired to "protect" Hov's music upon leaving the label over a decade ago.
Mahan continues to deny reports that he attempted to funnel $100,000 out of Live Nation, which is partnered with Jay's Roc Nation label, in exchange for the music. "My client's job was to protect that music. When he left Roc-A-Fella in 2002, he continued to protect the music," the attorney explained in a statement posted on Hip-Hop Wired. "When my client spoke with Mr. Santiago, he wasn't looking to get paid. He was informing Roc Nation that the drives used to record the music were going to be auctioned off. He's being persecuted for continuing to protect Jay-Z's music."
The lawyer goes on to say that his client broke away from The Roc to "focus on advancing his education," and responds to producer Just Blaze's claims blaming Mahan for the recordings not living up to the standard fans have come to expect from Jay. "Just Blaze claims the MASTERED music sounds horrible because of Chauncey. Mr. Mahan is not in possession of the master copies, he has the rough copies, so perhaps the reason Jay-Z is up in arms all of a sudden is the music portrays a different Jay-Z," the lawyer noted.
Text messages obtained by Hip-Hop Wired may corroborate Mahan's side of the story. The correspondence is between Mahan and Lenny Santiago, Jigga Man's longtime associate. According to the messages, Mahan appears to have been working out a deal with Roc Nation and asked when the label would be able to cover the storage tab, for far less than the $100,000 he reportedly wanted. "Lenny the storage place just contacted me want to know what time," Mahan wrote. "He said the bill is $2570….can we have this rapped [sic] today? I can't stall them any longer."
Mahan has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing and turned over the tapes to authorities, as well as submitted to questioning.
The Jay Z music that Mahan held onto all these years is valued at up to $20 million. It it is unclear where the reported $100,000 plot came into play.
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