A Bronx designer responsible for the iconic logo of Roc-A-Fella Records is suing company founders Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke for $7 million he says he’s owed for unpaid royalties, the New York Daily News reports.
Dwayne Walker filed a copyright infringement suit in a Manhattan court Thursday, claiming responsibility for designing the logo in 1995.
“The logo has become universally recognized as an iconic symbol of Jay-Z, one of the most successful recording artists in the history of popular music,” his suit reads.
The logo idea was dreamed up by Dash, who Walker says came up with a premise upon which he felt he could improve. The logo — which incorporates a stylized “R,” a record and champagne bottle, symbolizing the luxury with which the Roc-A-Fella team lived — subsequently became the main point of recognition for the label and its artists, particularly Jay-Z, and is currently one of the most identifiable brand images in Hip-Hop.
Jay-Z is currently preparing to open Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center arena with an eight-show engagement beginning September 28th, while Dash runs a media collective called DD172. Burke was recently sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a multi-state marijuana distribution ring.
Neither Jay-Z, Dash nor Burke has commented on the lawsuit.