Megan Thee Stallion shared with her Instagram audience that her record label 1501 Certified Entertainment was preventing her from releasing new music. The rapper said that at around 20 years old she signed a contract and was not clear on all the terms.
According to Pitchfork when Megan asked to renegotiate the contract, she was barred from releasing new work. The rapper has now filed a lawsuit against the label seeking the termination of her contract, and a temporary restraining order has been granted to allow the new music’s release, TMZ reports and documents viewed by Pitchfork confirm.
Today, a district judge in Harris County Texas granted Megan Thee Stallion’s temporary restraining order request, which is designed to thwart 1501’s attempts to prevent her from releasing “new records” on Friday, March 6. The restraining order also reportedly prevents 1501 from threatening the rapper on social media. The order will expire on March 16 at 11:59 p.m. The rapper has since seemingly confirmed that the restraining order means fans can expect to hear new songs this week.
The lawsuit was filed on March 2nd against 1501 and label head Carl Crawford and she is suing for at least $1 million in damages and is asking for her contract to be declared null or terminated. The lawsuit claims that the contract dictates that 1501 is entitled to 60% of her recording income. The remaining 40% is reportedly allocated to Megan, however the suit claims that she must use that portion of revenue to pay featured artists, mixers, remixers, and engineers.
Elsewhere in the suit, Megan Thee Stallion and her lawyers detail the “unconscionable” nature of her contract. The contract gives 1501 and Crawford 50% of her publishing, 30% of her touring income, 30% of her merchandising, control of all merchandising rights, and a cut of what’s called her “passive income” (i.e. sponsorships and endorsement deals). The lawsuit also claims that 1501 has failed to account for any of the revenue they’ve earned “despite repeated requests,” calling all information shared by the label “purposefully and deceptively vague.”
It’s also claimed in the lawsuit that 1501 made “false representations” about the company upon her signing, including an alleged claim that a well-known music executive in Houston was a label “partner” when that person was actually a third-party consultant. It’s also claimed that 1501 failed to “explain the full nature of the contract.” Megan claims that she only signed due to a series of “misrepresentations and omissions.”
It’s also claimed that the label “failed to take basic, necessary steps” like having her copyrights and trademarks registered. The suit states that the label’s negligence in filing trademarks left an opening for “a third party with no intellectual property ownership in [Megan’s] assets” registered her trademarks in their name.
Megan herself filed a statement in support of the lawsuit. She claims that 1501 has only ever paid her $15,000 and cites multiple “direct and veiled threats” from Crawford and J. Prince. She specifically cites a recently surfaced mugshot of Megan from an arrest when she was 19, saying it was “clearly leaked by someone in the 1501 camp” and “designed to harm me and my career.” Megan’s producer Lil Ju (“Big Ole Freak”) also shared a statement claiming that he received threats from Crawford.
“We are very happy the Court granted our TRO Application, and thrilled that the world should be able to now hear Megan’s new music on March 6,” Megan’s lawyer Richard Busch said in a statement. “We will now proceed with the other claims set forth in the Petition.”
Megan is set to release new music this Friday.
NEW MUSIC WILL BE DROPPING 🙏🏽🔥
— HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) March 3, 2020
Read your contracts, ladies!