Instead of paying Lil Wayne royalties on his Young Money artists Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga, Universal has been diverting those funds to pay off the money Birdman owes to the music giant.
That’s what Weezy claims in a new lawsuit he just filed against Universal.
“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.”
Here’s some background: In 1998, Cash Money received a huge advance from Universal, which was to be paid back with 20 percent of CM’s future profits.
Then, in 2003, Lil Wayne formed Young Money under Cash Money. The terms of that deal gave Birdman 51 percent of YM’s profits, with Wayne getting 49 percent.
What Wayne seems to saying in his suit is that Universal has no right to use 100 percent of his YM artists’ profits to pay down Birdman’s 20 percent — since 49 percent of those profits belong to him.
Tunechi is seeking at least $40 million from Universal. This is separate from his suit against Baby, which seeks $51 million.
Universal denied that they owe Wayne anything.
“It should be no surprise that we learned of the lawyer’s complaint through the news media,” Universal said in a statement. “We don’t intend to dignify this with further public comment except to say that we will vigorously contest it and that the merits of our case will carry the day.”