NEW YORK — Former music executive Lance “Un” Rivera is finally speaking out about a 1999 stabbing in New York City for which Jay-Z was found guilty, now saying the rapper was not the one who stabbed him.
Rivera sat down for an exclusive interview with “Vlad TV,” and revealed the details of the incident that led to Jay-Z being hit with three years’ probation just as his career was taking off.
“No, Jay-Z was not the guy that actually stabbed me that night,” Rivera said in the interview released Saturday.
At the time, witnesses identified Jay-Z as the assailant. The rapper turned himself in to the NYPD for questioning but maintained that he was innocent of the crime.
Ultimately, after a grueling two-year legal battle, Jay-Z pleaded guilty in October 2001. Although he didn’t face prison time, he was barred from leaving New York state for the following three years, and has been considered guilty ever since.
The incident initially stemmed from a claim that Rivera, who was then working closely with Jay-Z, was the one responsible for prematurely leaking his 1999 album, “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter.”
During the interview with “Vlad TV,” Rivera didn’t dispute the allegation that he was behind the leak, but he did dispute what happened next.
While at a release party for Q-Tip’s album “Amplified,” Rivera claims he was confronted by a large group of men.
“I ended up getting surrounded by a bunch of people … there were probably 10 knives that I knew of … and I ended up getting stabbed at the Kit Kat Club,” Rivera said.
Rivera confirmed that Jay-Z was at the club in Manhattan that night, and spoke with him before the incident regarding the album leak.
“You broke my heart,” Rivera recalled the rapper telling him.
But Rivera says he still doesn’t know how Jay got pegged for the crime. “If anyone knows Jay-Z, he’s a nice guy. He’s an artist, he’s a poet, he’s gifted, and [violence] has never been his history,” Rivera explained.
Rivera added that he was stabbed just once during the altercation, in the back of his shoulder, but did not reveal who actually did it.