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- A statement from DMX’s family confirms “no one” purchased rights to DMX’s original seven studio albums.
Following the April 9 death of Grammy-nominated rap star DMX, a widely shared Facebook post falsely claimed industry giants Beyonce and husband Jay-Z purchased the rights to his studio recordings and granted them to DMX’s children.
"Jay-Z & Beyonce are buying back DMX’s masters for $10 Million and giving to his kids for free," the post reads.
The post was flagged as part of efforts by Facebook to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) It’s not true.
DMX, also known as Earl Simmons, soared to prominence with multiple hit records in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He died April 9 after being hospitalized for a heart attack a week earlier, according to the Associated Press.
A "master" is a music industry term for the original sound recording of a song that’s protected by copyright, according to HipHopDX, an industry news hub owned by Warner Music Group.
Addressing rumors of the purchase, the family of DMX released a statement to various media outlets April 12, confirming that his masters were not sold.
"No one has bought Earl’s masters," a family spokesperson said in the statement. "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."
The rights to DMX’s masters remain with the various record groups he worked with over the span of his career: Universal Music Group for the first five albums; Sony for the sixth; and a group of six listed parties for his final album: DMX himself, Damon Blackmon, Unichappell Music Inc., Sa-Vette Music, Boomer X Publishing Inc. and Damon Blackmon Publishing.
A Facebook post said Beyonce and Jay-Z purchased the rights to DMX’s studio recordings and granted them to DMX’s children.
We found no evidence of this. The family of the late rapper issued a statement April 12 saying "no one" has purchased DMX’s collection. The rights to the masters remain with the various record groups he worked with during his career:
We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.
Associated Press, 'Nothing less than a giant': Rapper-actor DMX dies at 50, April 9, 2021
HipHopDX, Why It's Important That Producers Own Their Masters, Aug. 1, 2019
Archived Facebook post, April 10, 2021
Discogs album summary, DMX - It's Dark And Hell Is Hot, accessed April 12, 2021
U.S. Copyright Public Record System, entry for "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood/DMX," accessed April 12, 2021
U.S. Copyright Public Record System, entry for "And Then There Was X/DMX," accessed April 12, 2021
U.S. Copyright Public Record System, entry for "The Great Depression/DMX," accessed April 12, 2021
U.S. Copyright Public Record System, entry for "Grand Champ/DMX," accessed April 12, 2021
Discogs album summary, DMX – Year Of The Dog... Again (2006, CD), accessed April 12, 2021
U.S. Copyright Public Record System, entry for "Undisputed recorded by DMX on Seven Arts Music," accessed April 12, 2021
Variety, DMX’s Family Issues Statement Regarding Master Recordings, Memorial Service, April 12, 2021
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