Drake's ex-label sues over profits

Cash Money Records was sued on Monday (April 17) by Drake's former label for a share of the profits from the Toronto rapper's first six solo albums.
Cash Money Records was sued on Monday (April 17) by Drake's former label for a share of the profits from the Toronto rapper's first six solo albums.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Cash Money Records was sued on Monday by Drake's former label for a share of the profits from the Toronto rapper's first six solo albums, potentially totalling tens of millions of dollars.

Aspire Music Group, which claimed to have signed Drake in 2008, said it had 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 US$10 million.

Drake, whose given name is Aubrey Drake Graham, is not a defendant. Aspire is represented by Mr Marc Kasowitz, a long-time lawyer for United States President Donald Trump.

The six Drake albums are So Far Gone (2009), Thank Me Later (2010), Take Care (2011), Nothing Was The Same (2013), If You're Reading This It's Too Late (2015) and Views (2016). The last five entered the Billboard 200 list of popular US 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.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2017, with the headline 'Drake's ex-label sues over profits'. Print Edition | Subscribe