Lil Wayne is usually on the wrong end of lawsuits, but now he’s trying to take a piece out of Universal Music to the tune of $40 million.
Wanye and his legal team filed a claim against the entertainment company yesterday accusing them of withholding royalty money that he had earned through his contracts with Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga.
Universal gave Cash Money Records a $100 million advance in 2003 with the understanding that the label and Lil Wayne would split profits from their artists 51% to 49% as well as any intellectual property, copyrights, and so on. As a result of that agreement, Wayne should be able to take his money and not be involved in paying back Universal out of his own earnings, however that isn’t how things have turned out. The suit also implicates music royalty company SoundExchange for not settling up with the rapper.
His lawyer Howard E. King made this clear issuing the statement, “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. 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. 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 feels otherwise saying, “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 still has a lawsuit against Birdman and Cash Money Records, and although things seem to be on their way to getting patched up between the two hip hop moguls, we can’t imagine this shady deal will help.
Stay current for more information as the case moves forward.