(CN) - Hip-hop artist Trina backed out of an agreement to appear as a judge in an event called "America's Next Top Rapper," a Queens-based media company claims in court.
Omnipresent Media and Lawrence "Amar" Wright sued Katrina Taylor pka Trina, her managing agent Rarebreeed Entertainment, its principal Josh Burke, all of Florida, and J Ego Entertainment and Nunoise Travel, in Queens County Supreme Court, New York.
Omnipresent hosts an online streaming video platform and a competition called "America's Next Top Rapper."
"If you're an unsigned artist, or just looking to break into the rap game, or you need that major exposure, 'America's Next Top Rapper' is where you need to be," a rapper says in a promotional video on Omnipresent's website.
A website promoting Omnipresent's competition claims that aspiring rappers can win $20,000, a distribution deal with Universal, and "a hit production team," among other things.
Omnipresent claims Trina agreed to judge the competition, then backed out. The competition was to be held Dec. 30, 2011 in Dorchester, Mass., before a three-judge panel.
Omnipresent says the problems started when Trina and her managers failed to send promotional videos so the company could promote the event.
"Plaintiffs began to promote the events without the aid of the promotional material and, despite defendants' failure to provide said promotional material, plaintiffs were able to secure tens of thousands of dollars in contestant registration funds," the complaint states.
Omnipresent claims its promotions "generated significant traffic on the blogs of major entertainment networks, including BET and MTV."
It claims Trina and her management asked for more money, and assurance that the taping of the competition would not be broadcast to the public.
Then, it claims, Trina's travel agent said Trina would not produce any promotional materials unless Omnipresent paid for her travel expenses.
Omnipresent claims it agreed to pay for Trina's flights and hotel, but she never provided the promotional videos.
"Trina, despite being paid to do so, never attended or participated in the competition in any form or fashion as agreed," the complaint states.
"Due to defendants' breach of the agreement, plaintiffs, in order to salvage the events, were forced to arrange for a substitute artist to appear, on short notice, as a judge in the competition, as defendants gave plaintiffs no notice whatsoever that Trina would not be present as a judge for the competition."
Omnipresent claims that Trina's failure to appear caused several attendees "to become unruly and heckle competition participants, yelling, in sum and substance, that Trina was not present" and many demanded refunds.
Omnipresent claims it paid a 50 percent deposit to the defendants, but does not say 50 percent of what.
It demands $50 million in damages. It is represented by Muhammad Ikhlas.
Subscribe to Closing Arguments
Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.