If you are a successful rapper, keep a good lawyer on speed dial. A former business partner is suing Young Jeezy and his Def Jam record label. In a lawsuit filed in Atlanta's Fulton County Superior Court, Demetrius Ellerbee aka Kinky B claims that he co-founded Jeezy's label, Corporate Thugz Entertainment (CTE) with the trap rapper back in 2001. However, Ellerbee claims that despite the millions of dollars made when and after CTE aligned with Def Jam, he hasn't been paid any money he is owed, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Ellerbee feels he is entitled to half of the earnings of CTE. According to Ellerbee's lawyer and the lawsuit, the imprint's success—Jeezy released his well received Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition album late last year and the label's roster currently includes Slick Pulla and Gary, IN rapper Freddie Gibbs, among others—works out to his client being due at least $5 million dollars.
But despite the success of CTE, also known as Corporate Thugz Entertainment, Ellerbee has seen little of the millions of dollars in Def Jam advances and royalties paid to the company, according to Ellerbee's Atlanta attorney, Mario Breedlove.
Breedlove, who said Jeezy intentionally "misappropriated" company funds and redirected them into his personal accounts, said Ellerbee is owed at least $5 million, but the figure is much higher when royalties and interest are figured. He said he is still awaiting an accounting of all Def Jam payments to CTE Music to find out the exact amount his client is owed.
Efforts were being made Tuesday to get comment from Jeezy's Atlanta attorney Donald Woodard and attorneys for Def Jam.
"They were partners," Breedlove told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. "They started the company together. They grew the company together. And he's entitled to one-half."
The suit claims that Ellerbee and Jeezy, who just scored a Senior VP of A&R gig at Atlantic Records, met at a youth boot camp, becoming friends and eventually forming CTE after a previous joint venture, Young Gunz Entertainment, folded. He also claims that the "My President Is Black" rapper "intentionally misappropriated, diverted and/or converted" funds by sliding checks Def Jam cut for CTE into his own bank account.
Read the rest of the story here. Do you think Kinky B has a case here or is he just trying to score a payday?
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Photo: Def Jam