I started the "
" series to pull back the curtain on some of hip-hop's behind-the-scenes financial dealings, and it doesn't get any more curtain pulling than this new lawsuit alleging that Drake is possibly owed millions by Cash Money Records.
Let's rewind....way back in 2008 James "Jas" Prince discovered Drake off MySpace (ah, the days when MySpace broke artists) and introduced Drizzy to Lil Wayne, Wayne and Drake's manager Corey Bryant, their company Aspire Music Group and the rest of the Cash Money team.
In return for making the connection, Prince says that he was guaranteed a percentage of Drake's future profits. Or, if you want to get technical, according
, 22 percent of Aspire's share of profits, 22 percent of Aspire's ownership share of Drake's master recordings, and 5 percent of Drake's gross pay.
Prince's lawsuit, filed this week in the Manhattan Supreme Court, alleges that Cash Money has refused to turn over any documentation regarding how much money Drake has actually made, potentially shorting Prince of hundreds of thousands of dollars; maybe more, maybe less. The point is that Prince claims has no idea how much cash Drake is actually raking in, and therefore how much he's owed.
We could stop right there and this would be just another fascinating example of how many people have their hands on an artist's money, and yet another example of
, but there's an extra wrinkle that makes this just a little juicier.
The lawsuit also alleges that Drake himself has potentially been shorted millions of dollars, and is exploring leaving Cash Money is he's not properly compensated.
You can read the
, but it's really only Exhibit F that we're interested in. (And yeah, I feel all smart and shit using a term like Exhibit F):
Sweet baby jesus knows I'm not a lawyer, I barely graduated from college (shout out to SF State), but if I'm reading this right, Drake's legal team Meloni & McCaffrey are saying the following:
1) We're pretty sure you owe Drake a bunch of money.
2) We've been trying to get that money from you for a long time, but so far no dice.
3) Cash Money's lawyer Ron Sweeney offered us a settlement. Fuck his settlement.
4) You know, now that we look at Drake's contract, we realize that he could legally leave Cash Money anytime he wants. Marinate on that shit for a minute.
Until we hear from Drake himself this is all just allegation and conjecture, so while it's tempting to write a salacious headline like "Drake's leaving Cash Money!" we don't really know if that's true. What we
know is that Drake and Cash Money are fighting over money, and Drake's lawyers have laid down the "he could leave the label" threat. It could be a serious threat, it could be an empty threat, but the threat has been issued.
To take this one step further, there's no real proof that Drake, Lil Wayne and the rest of the major players are even particularly involved in these negotiations. Often that's why artists hire expensive lawyers, so the legal teams can fight it out behind the scenes while on the surface the artists' personal relationships stay positive.
Still, things are clearly not all good when it comes to Drake's tenure at Cash Money. Could the day come when Drake is no longer running with Lil Wayne? It doesn't seem likely, but when those dollars start getting involved, some unpredictable shit has been known to happen.
In other words, you know Diddy's writing "come on over to Bad Boy" texts to Drake right now.
he's Young Money for life and the "rumors" are bullshit, although legal documents that he's filed aren't exactly "rumors".