Lil Wayne is suing Universal Music and SoundExhange for $40 million alleging that Universal has withheld profits he should’ve earned from artists that he’s nurtured including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga.
All these artists were signed to the label Wayne founded Young Money which is an imprint of Cash Money records, distributed by Universal. Wayne was once the President of Cash Money, however, his relationship with the label turned sour when its founder Birdman refused to release his record Tha Carter V despite the fact it was finished. At the time he called himself “a prisoner” and asked to be free of the label.
Now he has filed a lawsuit, according to The Hollywood Reporter, claiming that Universal “diverted Lil Wayne’s substantial profits to repay debts of Cash Money”.
Apparently Wayne had “rights to partial ownership and profits” of his Young Money artists, however, he hasn’t been paid any of it.
“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 lawsuit states.
According to a 2003 agreement, the rapper was to receive 49 per cent of all Young Money profit while Cash Money was to get the remaining 51 per cent. He does not believe he is responsible for paying all of Cash Money’s debts.
SoundExchange has been included in the lawsuit because they collect and distribute Universal’s royalties and, “SoundExchange refuses to pay any of the money due to Young Money LLC and Carter individually based on Universal’s conflicting demand.”
As reported by Pitchfork, it was only last year that Lil Wayne filed a $51 million lawsuit against Cash Money saying that Birdman violated his contract by holding back money he’s owed for his long-delayed record Tha Carter V.
It’s all a big mess but it doesn’t seem to be screwing too much with Drake and Nicki Minaj who are undoubtedly two of the world’s biggest artists.
Watch: Lil Wayne – Lollipop