THE singer claims the label owes him profits from Drake, Tyga and Nicki Minaj
UH-OH! This looks like it’s going to be a nasty battle. American rapper Lil Wayne is taking one of the biggest labels in the world, Universal Music, to court after he ‘claims he’s owed tens of millions of dollars for discovering & nurturing successful recording artists’. After months of back and forth with the label, the rapper has finally had enough and filed papers against them earlier this week.
According to Lil Wayne, the label has been diverting millions of dollars to repay themselves for a supposed $100 million advance they gave Cash Money Records Inc. However, the rapper disagrees with this notion and has found no other solution other than dealing with this in court.
“With Universal’s knowledge of Lil Wayne’s rights to partial ownership and profits from those artists, Universal and Cash Money entered into a series of agreements which, among other things, diverted Lil Wayne’s substantial profits to repay debts of Cash Money,” states the complaint. “As a result, 100% of the profits that should have been paid to Lil Wayne as a result of his ownership of Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga records have been seized by Universal to repay debts that were neither incurred by nor were the obligations of Lil Wayne.”
The complaint adds that Cash Money’s partnership with Universal Music is ‘designed to manufacture, distribute, promote and exploit performances of new recording artists discovered by Carter and signed to the label’.
Lil Wayne claims an agreement they made in 2003 states the label’s profits ‘would be divided 51% – 49% between Cash Money and Carter, and ownership of all the Young Money Label property, (e.g., master recordings, copyrights, intellectual property, good will) similarly would be owned 51% – 49% between Cash Money and Carter, respectively’.
“Universal should be grateful and respectful to Lil Wayne for the millions of dollars in distribution fees and profits they have earned on the artists he brought to the company, instead of seizing all of his profits on those artists in a desperate attempt to recoup the tens of millions of dollars they are owed by Cash Money Records,” Howard E. King, Lil Wayne’s lawyer said in a statement.
However, it seems Universal Music are ready to battle it out in court as they believe that Lil Wayne doesn’t have much ground to stand on. “These claims are entirely without merit. It should be no surprise that we learned of the lawyer’s complaint through the news media,” a representative from Universal Music Group said in a statement. “We don’t intend to dignify this with further public comment except to say that we will vigorously contest it and that the merits of our case will carry the day.”