Lil Wayne has been embroiled in a host of legal issues over the past few years, and he is now back on the offensive. The Young Money general launched a lawsuit against Universal Music alleging that he has not been paid royalties over record sales from Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga.
As reported by Billboard, the federal lawsuit was filed on Monday with Weezy, born Dwayne Carter Jr., and his attorneys stating that Universal Music Group and SoundExchange are withholding millions from him and keeping the profits on the back of artists he discovered for themselves.
Carter claims Universal has diverted tens of millions of dollars of his profits to repay itself for the $100 million it advanced to Cash Money Records, Inc.
“With Universal’s knowledge of Lil Wayne’s rights to partial ownership and profits from those artists, Universal and Cash Money entered into a series of agreements which, among other things, diverted Lil Wayne’s substantial profits to repay debts of Cash Money,” states the complaint. “As a result, 100% of the profits that should have been paid to Lil Wayne as a result of his ownership of Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga records have been seized by Universal to repay debts that were neither incurred by nor were the obligations of Lil Wayne.”
Carter’s Young Money Label is a joint venture with Universal’s Cash Money Records designed to manufacture, distribute, promote and exploit performances of new recording artists discovered by Carter and signed to the label, according to the complaint.
Court papers show that Wayne’s side hammered home the terms of the 2003 agreement regarding the joint venture in where it was stated that the label’s profits would be split 51 and 49 percent respectively between Cash Money Records and Carter. Further, ownership of the Young Money Records entire holdings would also be split in the same fashion. The deal expired last June.
Lil Wayne ultimately hopes to reap $40 million in damages and lost profits.