The family of late rapper-actor DMX is clarifying rumors that Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, purchased the magnetic MC’s master recordings and gifted them to his children.
“There have been a few rumors following our loved one, Earl Simmons’, passing that we’d like to clear up. No one has bought Earl’s masters,” they said in statement issued Monday. “Additionally, we are not selling any merch or raising money for Earl’s funeral. If anyone is requesting for money for his funeral please be aware the person is a scammer. We will keep the public posted on funeral/memorial service arrangements.”
The origin of the rumor is unclear, but it started circulating on social media just a day after DMX’s passing. Word was that the Carters had purchased the rapper’s masters and would be giving them to his 17 children.
DMX only has 15 children.
Longtime DMX collaborator Swizz Beatz commented “Not true king,” on one post about the rumor.
A master recording is the official original recording of a song, sound or performance. Also referred to as “masters,” it is the source from which all the futures copies are made.
According to Amuse, an online music distribution company, “As an artist, owning your masters gives you the legal rights to freely appropriate and maximize your money-making opportunities. With a master recording, you can license the recording to third parties, like TV shows, films, commercials, or even for sampling use by other artists. If your master belongs to someone else, like the record label, the music producer or sound engineer, then they have the right to license out the recording (and collect the royalties).”
As reported by Billboard, it is unclear who owns DMX’s master recordings. He spent the majority of his career on Def Jam, where he released his debut, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, in 1998 through this fifth LP, 2003’s Grand Champ.
Days after DMX’s death on April 9, Def Jam founder Russell Simmons released a video, in which he said X “saved Def Jam … He pulled us out of the mud and brought us back to life.”