It’s been a hell of a week for Megan Thee Stallion. Her latest project Suga was released today on short notice along with a brand new visual for lead single “B.I.T.C.H.” . Though technically an EP, it’s been publicized as her debut album and comes off the heels of a very public and ugly legal battle with her label 1501.
On Monday it was revealed that 1501 Certified Entertainment owned by former MLB star Carl Crawford is preventing Megan from releasing new music revealed by the breakout rap star through instagram live session. It was the classic case of new school rapper without the means to an attorney being manipulated through contract. However, in the days residing the details of the contract were revealed and exposed an even bigger overreach than expected by 1501 over Stallion’s artistic rights. Here’s what we know:
Megan Thee Stallion signed a production with 1501 in 2018 in conjunction with 300 Entertainment. After signing with Roc Nation as an agency last fall who provided her with proper management and lawyers, the shoddy terms of the contract were made clear prompting her to renegotiate before being blocked by 1501.
After publicizing that new music Stallion had in the pipeline was being halted from release by 1501 on Monday, the rapper announced that she had filed a suit and was granted a temporary restraining order which would allow her to release new music.
It was revealed that 1501 had setup a 60-40 split on profits in their favour which includes featured appearances. Of Stallion’s 40% she is responsible for paying for producers and engineers. The lawsuit claims that 1501 lied about what services they would provide such as registering her music with a copyright office.
It was also revealed in the suit that the contract gives Crawford 50% of her publishing rights, 30% of her live revenues and 30% of her merch and that accounting and reporting has been “deceptively vague” keeping the rapper in the dark and that the contract left a decent amount out in order to convince her to sign. She does not own any of the masters and there is a clause that states she could be fined if she is late to press conferences, recording sessions, and or appearances
The restraining order also prevents 1501 from threatening Stallion on social media which apparently they had done this week.
Crawford posted a picture of himself with his partner Houston rap mogul J Prince to instagram captioned “At a time when loyalty is at an all time low it’s nice to link with (J Prince) who is steady teaching me how to move in this cutthroat industry and I know that terrifies some especially the ones who double cross me #paybacksabitch…#mobties” Prince has been known in the music business for threats and has been referred to as one of the most feared men in hip hop.
The TRO puts in writing that 1501 cannot prevent the release of Stallion’s records, must refrain from making threatening social media posts against Stallion, or falsify, destroy, alter or transfer documents any documents or recordings related to Stallion in anyway. This will only be applicable until March 16 with a hearing deciding whether to extend this period on March 13.
Crawford took to Billboard magazine to plead ignorance of the contract’s details but also accused Stallion of lying and claims that Roc Nation was using the suit as a “strong arm tactic” in order to get the contract renegotiated. He also cited that the agency is holding close to a million dollars of revenue from live shows to which he has not received.
Later in the week it was revealed that on January 23, 2020, 1501’s legal team sent letters to 300, Puma, and Live Nation stating that the making of the album was in direct contravention to their contract with Stallion and demanding they cease all activity relating to Stallion’s music and image until they receive the OK from 1501.
Stallion’s statement claims she has only been paid $15,000 total despite over one billion streams between Spotify and Apple Music. Crawford denies this and claims he had written her a cheque for fifty grand upon signing.
In response Stallion’s camp has compiled Suga, her penultimate in a four project deal with 1501. Originally slated for a May release now fast tracked and released today, it’s a collection of new songs she had been sitting on but unable to release due to contractual obligations.