For Jay-Z, the world doesn’t always come up smelling like roses. He might rock the mic and have a beautiful wife, but his latest business deal is under federal investigation for a somewhat shady selection process. Say it ain’t so, HOV!
Here’s how it all breakdowns: Last August, Jay-Z got somewhat friendly with New York Governor David Paterson. In the past, the two have been seen dining and spending time together in the Hamptons. In steps AEG (Aqueduct Entertainment Group), a group with plans to build a racino (that’s a racing track and casino) at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York. Paterson’s goal in tapping AEG was to turn the location into a glamorous, state-of-the-art gaming facility. And here’s where federal investigators are crying foul: According to investigators, AEG Chairman Richard Mays brought Jay in last September to cover 7% of the total venture, a deal Jay was given only because of his friendship with the governor and a falling out with Wynn Resorts Limited.
“Paterson directly told Wynn he needed to have a minority partner, so he went and got Jay-Z. But when Wynn pulled out, Jay-Z was without a home,” a source told The New York Post. “AEG went and grabbed Jay-Z after his deal with Steve Wynn fell through.”
And, almost immediately, both the governor’s office and AEG are denying any such occurrence, instead touting the mass appeal of Jay-Z as a star and entrepreneur as the reason for his inclusion.
“Given [Jay-Z’s] superstardom and his long and deep connection to New York, the partners thought he could bring a unique perspective to shaping a facility that would truly be an entertainment destination,” AEG spokesman Jonathan Rosen said. “The partners were looking to bring in someone who could bring marketing and community advice to the team.”
Also worth noting is that Jay, who had been sentenced to three years probation after stabbing a record executive in 1999, was allowed to stay on as partner, while Darryl Greene had been forced to drop out of the AEG consortium stemming from charges over fleecing several city agencies out of $500,000.
No word yet from Jay-Z on any of the investigation, but it certainly hasn’t helped him from staying busy — just check out his upcoming itinerary below!
Jay-Z 2010 Tour Dates:
02/25 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Arena %
02/27 – Atlanta, GA @ Phillips Arena %
02/28 – Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum Complex %
03/02 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden %
03/03 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center %
03/05 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena %
03/06 – E. Rutherford, NJ @ IZOD Center %
03/07 – Norfolk, VA @ Scope Arena %
03/11 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden %
03/12 – Long Island, NY @ Nassau Coliseum %
03/13 – Atlantic, NJ @ Borgata Casino %
03/14 – Auburn Hills, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills %
03/16 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mellon Arena %
03/19 – St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center %
03/20 – Indianapolis, IN @ Conseco Fieldhouse %
03/22 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center %
03/24 – San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion %
03/26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center %
04/16 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
06/03-06 – NÃ¼rburgring & NÃ¼rnberg, DE @ Rock am Ring & Rock im Park
06/07 – Manchester, UK @ MEN Arena
06/09 – Brimingham, UK @ LG Arena
06/11 – Isle of Wight, UK @ Isle of Wight Festival
06/10-13 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
07/04 – London, UK @ Wireless Festival
07/08-11 – Eadestown, IE @ Oxegen
07/09-11 – Kinross, UK @ T in the Park
% = w/ Young Jeezy