By Ryan Velez
EURWeb reports that rapper Wiz Khalifa, birthname Cameron Jabril Thomaz, has been sued for $2 million by a record company executive who claims that he and his company never got their promised share of Wiz Khalifa’s profits.
According to documents revealed by Rolling Stone, Rostrum Records and its founder Benjy Grinberg allege that via a contract that they had with the rapper, they were entitled to 15% of all royalties earned and received by Khalifa, along with 15% of his tour proceeds and 20% of the rapper’s merchandise sales.
“Rostrum is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that the Publishing Royalties, Tour Royalties and Merchandise Royalties that Thomaz currently owes Rostrum, but has failed to pay in breach of the Operative Agreement, exceed $2 million,” the lawsuit states.
An important aspect to this story is the fact that Khalifa has already filed a lawsuit against Rostrum in May. The lawsuit sought to terminate the deal that he had signed with them in 2005, when he was 16-years-old. Khalifa’s suit alleges that Grinberg steered him towards business opportunities that were to the benefit of Grinberg and Rostrum as opposed to his own. Grinberg was also Khalifa’s personal manager until March 2014.
A demurrer document that Rolling Stone obtained says that Rostrum and Grinberg call that lawsuit “a transparent and baseless pre-emptive strike, designed to attempt to evade paying millions of dollars that Tomaz owes to defendant Rostrom Records, LLC.” They also say that Grinberg has a large role in Khalifa’s initial success, and that he “has concocted a fabricated story that mischaracterizes the relationships between the parties and the agreements at issue.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Grinberg explained that “ Thirteen years ago, we started Rostrum Records as a label that would support and nurture the artists we believe in. We are very grateful that Rostrum has been able to achieve that goal and provide a strong, family atmosphere where meaningful relationships with the artists is our top priority. To give everything you have to an artist and then to be on the receiving end of a fabricated lawsuit is deeply disappointing.”
“What was alleged is, in fact, the complete opposite of our actions and the antitheses of what Rostrum Records and I stand for. Rostrum looks forward to quickly addressing these baseless claims so we can continue to focus our energies on our artists’ success,” he added.
A hearing for this lawsuit is set for August 1st. Rolling Stone’s request for comment from a representative from Wiz Khalifa was not met with any comment.