Drake's Discoverer Says Managers Stiffed Him
MANHATTAN (CN) - A Houston music scion credited with discovering rapper Drake says the artist's managers are withholding his $100,000 cut of profits and are stiffing Drake, putting "the entire Drake business in jeopardy."
Jas Prince, son of Rap-a-Lot Records founder James Prince, claims in New York Supreme Court that he's entitled to the money for introducing Aubrey Graham a.k.a. "Drake" to rapper Lil Wayne in 2007 or 2008.
Prince says he and Lil Wayne's manager, Cortez Bryant, verbally agreed to "use their experience, influence, and relationships to persuade Drake into entering an exclusive recording agreement and an exclusive management agreement with the two of them."
"Bryant was to use his influence to compel Lil Wayne to sign and promote Drake to and through Lil Wayne's record company [Young Money Entertainment], once Drake had signed the agreements," the lawsuit states.
Prince says he and Bryant agreed to split their share of Drake's profits. Drake has since sold millions of records and won numerous awards.
Shortly after the 2008 agreement, Prince says Bryant formed Aspire Music Group and Laurant Management and signed Drake to exclusive recording and management contracts with his companies. Aspire then signed Drake with Young Money Entertainment and Cash Money Records, Prince claims.
He says Bryant "had no intention of honoring his agreement" with Prince, "but instead intended to oust [him] from the Drake business."
The parties allegedly tried to resolve their differences with a settlement agreement outlining what Aspire owed Prince and his entertainment company, Young Empire Music Group.
They were to receive 22 percent of Aspire's share of profits, 22 percent of Aspire's ownership share of Drake's master recordings, and 5 percent of Drake's gross pay, according to the lawsuit
But Aspire "has refused to account and pay plaintiffs accordingly," the lawsuit claims, and has since hired an attorney who also represents Young Money Entertainment, the company responsible for paying Drake, Aspire and, ultimately, Prince.
Prince and his company are suing Aspire, Bryant, and Drake's co-managers, Gerald Roberson and Derrick Lawrence of Three Kings and Laurant Management, respectively, for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
They also want the court to appoint a receiver and bar the defendants from renegotiating their contracts with Drake until they get paid.