By Evan Minsker and Noah Yoo.
Drake’s origins in the music business are once again a matter of legal dispute. James “Jas” Prince (son of Rap-A-Lot founder James Prince), who has long claimed that he discovered Drake, and Aspire Music Group (who say they signed Drake in 2008) have teamed up to sue Brian “Baby” Williams (aka Birdman), his brother and Cash Money co-founder Ronald “Slim” Williams, Cash Money, and Young Money for their their alleged unpaid share of profits from recordings by the Toronto rapper. Find the full complaint below, obtained by Pitchfork. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Drake and Cash Money for comment.
Earlier this year, Aspire filed a separate lawsuit against Cash Money for Drake profits. According to a copy of that complaint obtained by Pitchfork, Aspire alleged that Drake signed an exclusive recording deal with the label in December 2008. Aspire signed another deal with Cash Money in 2009, in which Aspire would receive one-third of the profits from any “commercial exploitation” of Drake recordings, the complaint claimed. Aspire sought a full accounting of Cash Money’s Drake earnings and to pay Aspire’s share of revenues, plus damages.
Prince and Aspire have battled in the past. In 2012, Prince filed a lawsuit alleging Aspire cut him out of the profits he was owed. Prince claimed he was owed a 22 percent cut of Aspire’s alleged 33 percent from Cash Money. His lawyer Jethro Eisenstein told Pitchfork that Prince had been waiting for Aspire to sue Cash Money. And in a separate case, Prince sued Aspire co-owner Derrick Lawrence and his On the Road company for Drake profits. All of those lawsuits have been settled.
This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.
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