After discovering numerous talents that have gone on to make some of the best records in today’s generation, one would assume that Lil Wayne has profited off of this success. Contrary to popular belief, a lawsuit filed by the New Orleans rapper has implied that the opposite is true.
According to the lawsuit, Lil Wayne is suing Universal Music Group, claiming withheld royalties for both his music and the discovery/development of the artists on his label, Young Money.
In the lawsuit, Wayne claims that a 2003 agreement with UMG stated that 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.” However, he believes that the money has instead been used to pay off debts incurred by Cash Money, an expense Wayne feels for which he has no responsibility.
Wayne also listed SoundExchange, a non-profit performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties, as a defendant in the lawsuit.
“Universal has claimed a right to 100% of the label performance royalties attributed to the [Young Money Entertainment] Records,” the lawsuit begins. “SoundExchange refuses to pay any of the money due to Young Money LLC and [Lil Wayne] individually based on Universal’s conflicting demand.”
In a statement made on Monday, Wayne’s attorney, Howard E. King, expressed his feelings on the matter:
“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.”
A spokesperson from Universal Music Group later responded in the label’s defense:
“It should be no surprise that we learned of the lawyer’s complaint through the news media. 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.”
Lil Wayne is suing for $40 million in damages, $11 million less than a lawsuit claimed against CEO of Cash Money, Bryan “Birdman” Williams last year. We will keep you all updated as the story unfolds!
Written By: Sweenie Saint-Vil