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Megan Thee Stallion sues label to get out of contract

Megan Thee Stallion attends the 2019 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 24, 2019, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Megan Thee Stallion attends the 2019 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 24, 2019, in Los Angeles, Calif. Rich Fury/Getty Images

Megan Thee Stallion said on Instagram Live on Sunday that her record label 1501 Certified Entertainment was preventing her from releasing new music.

The Big Ole Freak rapper, 25, said that the terms of her contract were not clear to her when she signed with 1501 and when she asked to renegotiate her contract she was barred from releasing new music.

Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, has now filed a lawsuit against 1501, LLC and its CEO Carl Crawford seeking the termination of her contract and a temporary restraining order had been granted by a district judge in Harris County, Texas, to allow her to release new music, according to court documents obtained by E! News.

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The restraining order, which will expire on March 16 at 11:59 p.m., also reportedly prevents 1501 from threatening Megan Thee Stallion on social media.

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The Freak Nasty rapper also accused the defendants of breach of contract, common law fraud, fraudulent inducement, fraud by non-disclosure, tortious interference with prospective business relations, violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.

Megan Thee Stallion is also seeking a temporary and permanent injunction and a declaration that her contract is “unconscionable, unenforceable and/or void.”

The Realer rapper and her lawyers detail that the contract gives 1501 and Crawford 50 per cent of her publishing, 30 per cent of her touring income, 30 per cent of merchandising, control of all merchandising rights and a cut of her “passive income” (from sponsorships and endorsement deals).

Megan Thee Stallion has accused the defendants of taking the “extraordinary step” of instructing the distributor of her records, 300 Entertainment, to not “release or distribute any of her new music.”

The court documents state that she has new music scheduled to be released on March 6 and the alleged instruction “will have a devastating impact and cause irreparable injury to [Megan’s] career, for which monetary damages will in no way suffice.”
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The Tina Montana rapper is seeking monetary damages in excess of $1 million and for her contract to be declared null or terminated.

Megan Thee Stallion’s contract dictates that 1501 is entitled to 60 per cent of her recording income and the remaining 40 per cent is reportedly allocated to the rapper. The suit also claims that she must use her portion of revenue to pay featured artists, mixers, remixers and sound engineers.

The Hot Girl Summer rapper and her lawyers claim that she only signed to 1501 due to a series of “misrepresentations and omissions” after 1501 made “false representations” about the company before signing her, including an alleged claim that a well-known music executive in Houston was a label “partner” when they were actually a third-party consultant.

The lawsuit also claimed that 1501 “failed to take basic, necessary steps” such as having her copyrights and trademarks registered.

Megan Thee Stallion claims that 1501 has only ever paid her $15,000 and cited multiple “direct and veiled threats” from Crawford agent J. Prince.

“Defendants and their agent J. Prince, who is notorious in the music industry for bullying and strong-armed tactics, publicly expressed displeasure on social media when Pete associated Roc Nation (Jay-Z’s founded company) as her manager,” the documents read. “From that point onward, Pete was attacked, and threatened on social media, on information and belief, by Prince, 1501, or those acting on their behalf.”

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She cited a recently surfaced mugshot of herself from an arrest when she was 19 and said it was “clearly leaked by someone in the 1501 camp” and “designed to harm me and my career.”

The Cash S–t rapper also alleged that the defendants control her live performances and touring rights with the contract giving 1501 exclusive rights to use her name, likeness and photos “in the exercise” of her live performances and touring. She said they allegedly “have no obligation to obtain any approvals” from her for these activities.

“Although required to do nothing in this regard, Defendants unconscionably take 30 per cent of all touring monies (which is more than double than what a real touring promoter like Live Nation would take), while all advances under the Contract (i.e., for income streams other than live performance and touring activities) may be recoupable against Pete’s share as the Contract does not say that advances from activities other than live performance and touring activities are uncrossed from Pete’s royalties for live performances and touring activities,” the court documents read.

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The rapper’s lawyer released a statement after the judge granted the temporary restraining order on Tuesday.

“We are very happy the Court granted our TRO and thrilled that the world should be able to now hear Megan’s new music on March 6,” Megan Thee Stallion’s lawyer, Richard Busch, told E! News. “We will now proceed with the other claims set forth in the [lawsuit].”
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A hearing for the request for temporary injunction is scheduled for March 13.

510 and the other defendants have not released a statement in regards to the lawsuit and temporary restraining order as of this writing.