Jay-Z has said that he would never sell his masters as getting the rights to them was the “fight of my life”.
The 53-year-old American rapper and record producer, real name Shawn Corey Carter, spoke to CBS Morning’s Gayle King about his music career and why it is important that he owns his masters.
Artists who own the original sound recordings to their songs, known as masters, have the legal right to license them out if they wish to do so.
The rapper took King on a tour of the Jay-Z tribute exhibit, The Book Of Hov, at the Brooklyn Public Library, where some of his masters are located and was asked by King if he would ever sell them.
Jay-Z responded: “No.”
“I get why people do it, I’ve been fortunate enough to make money in this place, but for me, it was the fight of my life”, he said.
Jay-Z was president of record label Def Jam Recordings for a three-year spell, until he announced that he would be stepping down from his role in 2007.
Speaking about his role and the journey it took to get back his masters, he said: “You know from being an independent company from the beginning and then going through the Def Jam system not really understanding how that works and then having my masters, then going back to Def Jam as the president and then saying, ‘Okay, I’ll do this job and part of this job is my masters has to be reverted back to me.
“I want my kids to see my work and if they decide to sell it, then it’s up to them.”
The 24-time Grammy-award winning rapper is married to American pop superstar Beyonce and the couple have three children together, daughters Blue Ivy and Rumi and son Sir.
King and Jay-Z discussed whether his daughter Blue Ivy thinks he’s cool, to which the rapper said: “Blue, she be frontin’ on me a little bit, but she — I catch her.
“I catch her in the corner, you know? Now she asks me if this is cool, her sneakers or whatever she’s wearing.”