*Jay Z’s alleged extorter claims he wasn’t holding the rapper’s Roc Nation master recordings for ransom, but rather keeping them safe at the request of the label, reports TMZ.
Chauncey Mahan was detained by police on Friday after reportedly blackmailing the mogul, demanding $110,000 in exchange for recordings from 2002 and 2003 which he took while he was interning for Jay Z and are now said to be worth $30 million.
The former intern has now hit back at Roc Nation’s claims he stole the tracks and was holding them ransom, telling TMZ the record label asked him to keep track of Jay Z’s music because the 44-year-old star was just ”a stupid kid smoking blunts” at the time, and was reckless with his intellectual property.
Chauncey insists he’s repeatedly told Roc Nation he had the masters – which include “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” and “Holla” – over the last decade and only requested the money last week when he could no longer afford to pay the storage fee. He claims he only asked for the cash as compensation for keeping the recordings for 12 years in Northridge, California.
The LAPD took the ex-intern into custody late last week, but he was released pending further investigation and officers said they couldn’t help until a police report was filed in New York since the recordings were never reported missing or stolen.
Roc Nation sent an employee to meet Chauncey at the storage locker, paying him $2,500 to open it, and was able to verify that the never-before-heard tunes were indeed Jay Z’s.
The so-called culprit also told TMZ that some of the masters sound “awful.”