The saga surrounding Megan Thee Stallion’s rift with her record label continues.
The 25-year-old artist recently took to Instagram Live, informing her fans that she is involved in a dispute with her record label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, after she attempted to renegotiate her contract. According to Billboard, a judge has now granted Meg a temporary restraining order against her record label, barring them from blocking the distribution of Meg’s new music while they respond to her lawsuit.
In a recent interview with Billboard following the lawsuit, 1501 Certified Entertainment CEO Carl Crawford responded to Meg’s claims. He refers to Meg as a “fraud” and a “liar” and says the two haven’t spoken since August.
“It’s a whole lie,” Crawford claims. “Nothing is true that she said. Me being greedy and taking money from her, that’s crazy. I never tried to take nothing from her. The only thing we ever did was give, give, give.”
Crawford, who was a Major League Baseball player for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers (and former fiancé of Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada), spoke to Billboard about Meg’s initial Instagram Live video, what he thinks about Roc Nation and, of course, the pending lawsuit.
“Let’s talk about your contract. It’s a great contract for a first-timer,” Crawford notes. “What contract gives parts of their masters and 40% royalties and all that kind of stuff? Ask Jay-Z to pull one of his artists’ first contracts, and let’s compare it to what Megan got...I guarantee they won’t ever show you that.”
E! News reported the following, based on court documents it obtained:
In the court documents, [Megan] further claimed there’s “a provision literally requiring 1501 to do nothing while taking 60 percent of recording income.” She also alleged there’s a provision “providing that all monies paid to or on behalf” of Megan “are recoupable from royalties payable to” Megan. According to the documents, she also alleged “there’s a provision that all royalties payable to third parties”—such as producers, mixers, remixers and featured artists—”are paid solely out of” Megan’s “40 percent interest.”
“Defendants take the vast majority of the recording income, and [Megan] Pete is left making very little for her work, although 1501 is essentially required to do nothing, and in fact is doing nothing,” the documents stated. “The 60/40 split is well below industry standard. In addition, in return for Defendants’ interest, they would be expected to perform standard record label functions (e.g., A & R, manufacturing, promotion, advertising, and accounting, etc.) which they are not performing, relying entirely on 300 Entertainment and Pete’s manager.”
Upon realizing the terms of the contract, Twitter users responded in kind, with some comparing Megan’s deal to the infamously exploitative 360 deals.
“Well, we did a 360 deal where it was a 70-30,” Crawford said, in response to Billboard asking him to verify whether the label gets 30 percent of her tour revenue as well as 30 percent of her merch revenue. “The reason why it was a 70-30 was because we gave up so much. We gave up part of her masters right now, we gave her a 60-40 split. That’s why we got so much on that side. We knew we did some stuff that people don’t do.” Crawford also denies that 40 percent of Megan’s portion is distributed between third parties.
As Gold Village Entertainment President Danny Goldberg told NPR in 2010, “a 360 deal is not something that has a precise definition. But in general, what it means is usually a deal with a record company in which the record company also participates in the income of all of the other aspects of the artist’s work, such as songwriting and merchandise, in addition to making money off the records.”
Crawford noted, “Everybody in the industry knows this is what Jay-Z and Roc Nation do: They come in, they find the smallest things wrong with the problem—because there weren’t any problems before she left—and then she says that I didn’t want to negotiate? OK, tell everybody your definition of negotiating. Your definition is, ‘OK. I’m going to send Suge Knight’s old lawyers to come in, and it’s a stick-up...’ Of course, I’m like, ‘This isn’t a negotiation. This is a robbery.’”
The Root has reached out to Roc Nation for comment regarding Crawford’s claims about the company.