Cash Money is back in court. While the label continues to fight a $51 million legal battle with Lil Wayne, Aspire Music Group has sued the imprint over missing profits and copyright royalties from Drake’s first six solo albums. The total amount owed could end up being tens of millions of dollars, according to Billboard.
Aspire’s lawsuit names Cash Money owners Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Ronald “Slim” Williams, and Young Money Entertainment as defendants. It claims that it signed an exclusive deal with Drake back in 2008, before agreeing to let him record for Cash Money in exchange for one-third of the net profits of the following Drizzy projects: 2009’s So Far Gone, 2010’s Thank Me Later, 2011’s Take Care, 2013’s Nothing Was the Same, 2015’s If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late, and 2016’s Views.
But that’s not all. In addition to this, Aspire claims that their agreement included one third of the copyrights of Drake’s masters for these albums, along with monthly accounting and payments. Now, Aspire says that the label never paid any profits or royalties aside from “a few modest advances,” and that they failed to make consistent monthly accounting reports.
Moreover, Aspire says that Cash Money signed Drizzy into an exclusive deal in 2013, ignoring his previous agreement with Aspire in the process. Drizzy was paid $10 million for that CM deal, including $4 million from profits from his albums, which Aspire says is owed to them.
According to the report, the accounting that Cash Money did prepare shows “inflated” deductions for a variety of costs that Universal had already covered. On top of this, Aspire also believes that Cash Money’s distribution deal with Universal has not allowed them to properly collect all of the net profits that they are owed. Now, Aspire is asking the court to assess how much Cash Money owes them following a full accounting of the imprint’s financial records.
Jas Prince, who reportedly discovered Drake, is behind the new lawsuit as a co-owner of Aspire, according to TMZ. This follows a recent statement made by Jas’ father James Prince to the website about the matter.
“I’m going to make them an offer they can’t refuse,” he said. “It’s not that bad but it depends on how they embrace it.”
Asked whether he believes Birdman has the money, Prince responded: “Wherever [the money is], we have to reach and grab it, even if it’s in his ass, we’ve got to get it up out of there.”
Aspire is being represented by Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer who also famously represents President Donald Trump.
Cash Money has not officially commented on the lawsuit.