It’s been almost 18 years since the untimely death of Hip-Hop icon, Russell Tyrone Jones a.k.a Ol Dirty Bastard, and while his music still bumps in all corners of the Hip-Hop world his widow, Icelene Jones, is claiming that she isn’t getting any royalties from his music catalogue.
According to Variety, Jones has filed a lawsuit against Wu-Tang Clan Productions on Tuesday (February 8) alleging that the production company hadn’t paid any royalties to the estate from 2011 to 2021, when it had sent a check for $130,000. Though the estate did receive some payments from Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp in 2019 and 2020, they allege that it was only a fraction of what they’re owed. In the suit the Jones estate state that over the last 10 years they’ve been requesting accountings and payments but were never provided anything.
“The complaint cites a 1992 recording agreement, under which ODB was to be paid 50% of net earnings on the publishing of his copyrighted songs. The members of the group were also to split 50% of net earnings from the sound recordings. The suit alleges the estate is also owed royalties on merchandising and videos.”
“The suit was filed in New York Supreme Court. It alleges breach of contract, and seeks damages of at least $1 million, plus interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.”
This is a sad situation all around as the Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s cousin, Robert Diggs a.k.a The RZA owns and operates Wu-Tang Clan Productions. Just last year The RZA announced that an Ol’ Dirty Bastard biopic was in the works, so it should be interesting to see if this lawsuit upends that project as well. Hopefully some settlement can be made because we hate it when money comes in-between family.