Aspire Music Group, which claimed to have signed Drake in
2008, said it has received only "a few modest advances" from
Cash Money and co-owners Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald
"Slim" Williams, despite a 2009 contract to let Drake record for
that label in exchange for one-third of album profits.
The complaint filed in a New York state court in Manhattan also
accused Cash Money of inducing Drake in 2013 to break his
"exclusive artist" agreement with Aspire by signing a competing
agreement, depriving Aspire of more than $10 million.
"Defendants have brazenly engaged in a systematic and pervasive
effort to cheat plaintiff out of its contractual entitlement to
tens of millions of dollars in profits and royalties, and to its
one-third ownership interest in the copyright to Drake's first
six albums," the complaint said.
A lawyer for the defendants did not immediately respond to a
request for comment. Drake, whose given name is Aubrey Drake
Graham, is not a defendant.
Aspire is represented by Marc Kasowitz, a longtime lawyer for
U.S. President Donald Trump.
The six Drake albums are "So Far Gone," "Thank Me Later," "Take
Care," "Nothing Was the Same," "If You're Reading This It's Too
Late" and "Views," and the last five entered the Billboard 200
list of popular U.S. albums at No. 1, the complaint said.
Drake's current album, "More Life," also entered that list at
No. 1, and is in its third week there.
The case is Aspire Music Group LLC v Cash Money Records Inc et
al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel Editing by Sandra Maler)
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