Lil Wayne has had his fair share of label problems, but it now appears Weezy is looking for a payday from Universal Music Group. According to reports, Wayne wants back royalties from both his music and Young Money artists which he feels Universal has withheld.
A federal lawsuit against UMG was filed by the rapper’s lawyers this past Monday (March 28) in court. Weezy reportedly wants $40 million in damages.
“With Universal’s knowledge of Lil Wayne’s rights to partial ownership and profits from those artists, Universal and Cash Money entered into a series of agreements which, among other things, diverted Lil Wayne’s substantial profits to repay debts of Cash Money,” Wayne’s lawsuit states. “As a result, 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 also names SoundExchange, a non-profit performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties, as a defendant. “Universal has claimed a right to 100% of the label performance royalties attributed to the [Young Money Entertainment] Records,” the lawsuit continues. “SoundExchange refuses to pay any of the money due to Young Money LLC and [Lil Wayne] individually based on Universal’s conflicting demand.”
A representative for the rapper did not immediately respond to a request for comment but a Universal spokesperson tells Rolling Stone, “These claims are entirely without merit. It should be no surprise that we learned of the lawyer’s complaint through the news media. We don’t intend to dignify this with further public comment except to say that we will vigorously contest it and that the merits of our case will carry the day.”