Afeni Shakur, mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur, is suing the new owner of her son’s former record label for over a million dolalrs in unpaid royalties and demanding that master copies of unreleased material be handed over to her. Ms Shakur is the co-administrator of Tupac’s estate.
Shakur filed the suit on Wednesday in L.A. Superior Court against Entertainment One, who reportedly purchased the catalogue of the famed gangster rap label Death Row Records, to which Tupac was signed. The new suit follows-up previous litigation that was filed earlier this year in federal court. Shakur is seeking more than $1.1 million in unpaid royalties from the exploitation of the famously prolific Tupac’s work.
According to the lawsuit, the rapper’s estate entered into a settlement with Death Row and its then-distributor Interscope Records in 1997, confirming the estate as exclusive owner of the unreleased material, including master recordings and audiovisual work. The agreement stated that Death Row would receive one “album’s worth” of material, with the estate receiving royalties from future exploitation of Tupac’s released and unreleased material.
Death Row allegedly kept physical possession of the unreleased masters despite, the law suit says, having “no ownership rights” to these works. Death Row reportedly entered into an agreement with Koch Entertainment to be the exclusive distributor of three Tupac albums, with Koch to account for and pay royalties to the estate.
The suit is the latest issue in seemingly non-stop legal troubles for the long-ailing record label. Having lost its two biggest stars — Tupac and Snoop Dogg — in the early 90s, the label has been in court multiple times and in 2006, filed for bankruptcy before being auctioned off to entertainment development company WIDEawake Entertainment Group, Inc. for $100 million.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)