Update 8/26: Megan Thee Stallion's attorneys have filed paperwork in an attempt to find out who leaked her latest album, Traumazine. As Billboard reports, the rapper's attorneys told a judge on Monday, August 22, that Warner Music Group "was one of the few companies that received a copy of Traumazine in advance of its formal release."
The statement says "[Megan] Pete does not, at this time, accuse WMG of intentionally releasing her album, but does believe that receiving documents and communications from WMG related to Traumazine and its release should help discover who improperly leaked her artistic work. In addition to documents and communications, Pete wishes to ascertain who all received access to Traumazine through WMG."
Keep reading for PAPER's initial report of the ongoing lawsuit.
Hot off the heels of her surprise album, Traumazine, Megan Thee Stallion is seeking justice — and credit.
The Houston rapper has not shied away from discussing the trouble she's faced trying to renegotiate and satisfy her contract with independent label 1501 Certified Entertainment. The label, run by her now-manager T. Farris and owned by former baseball player Carl Crawford, signed Megan in early 2018. By the end of the year, she signed to 300 Entertainment and entered a four-album licensing rights joint venture with her two labels.
Since then, the rapper's career has skyrocketed. From countless Billboard-topping hits to a PAPER cover, Megan was doing it all. Behind the scenes was a different story. At the beginning of the year, she sued Crawford and the label, alleging that they would not allow her to fulfill the terms of her contract. She wanted her 2021 album Something For Thee Hotties to count toward the amount of albums she agreed to record.
"Contrary to 1501’s position, Something for Thee Hotties clearly meets the definition of ‘Album’ under the recording agreement because it is not less than forty-five (45) minutes in length,” the documents claim. “There are no other parameters or requirements under the contract for what can be deemed an ‘Album’ other than total run time of the album. As such, Something for Thee Hotties satisfies her ‘Minimum Recording Commitment’ for the second option period of the agreement." According to the label, the album does not satisfy the agreement because it featured archival material and spoken word.
Prior to that, she was granted a temporary restraining order against her label so that she could release Suga, eventually having it extended so that she could appear on the remix of BTS' smash hit "Butter." Past lawsuits allege that 1501 is attempting to prevent her from releasing music, presumably to avoid her fulfilling her contract too soon. She also previously accused the label of not paying her.
The tensions came to a head with the release of Traumazine. Several key components of the album were leaked, and Megan was quick to allude to her label's possible involvement as an act of sabotage. It appears that 1501 also doesn't consider it to be an album.
On August 22, less than two weeks after Traumazine's release, People obtained court documents for the rapper which seeks $1 million in relief after 1501 claimed that both her latest record and Something For Thee Hotties don't satisfy her contract. The document describes the ongoing issues as "a long and tortured history of disputes" and describes the restrictive contract as "unconscionable." According to 1501's attorney Steven M. Zager in a statement to People, Megan "owes  one more album, at least."
In the late hours of August 23, J. Prince posted a photo with Crawford on Instagram with a lengthy caption that called out Megan and her lawyers. "For years we have stood by quietly as MTS and her mgmt at Roc Nation has lied about Carl Crawford and his 1501 label," Prince wrote. "The truth is that Carl discovered, developed and fully financed MTS early in her career which led to a life changing distribution agreement for her with 300 Entertainment."
Prince goes on to say that Megan "has consistently and intentionally breached her 1501 contract with impunity for years in ways that are too numerous to list here - from entering into agreements inconsistent with her contract, falsely claiming publishing shares that belong to 1501 - failing to notify, account or pay ancillary revenue; releasing albums of outtakes and previously released material and falsely claiming that she is out of her contract - and now falsely alleging that 1501 leaked her album when the album was always intended by Megan to be released on 8/19 and where the leak actually hurt 1501 as much, if not more than Megan, rendering her claim to be specious and nonsensical."
Less than two hours later, Megan responded on her Twitter and said she was "over these grown ass men trying to take credit away" from her and her late mother and manager, Holly Thomas. "Me and my mom 'developed' my career I was already known for free styling and I was already working on Tina snow before I got to 1501," she continued.
\u201cIm so over these grown ass men trying to take credit away from the work me and my mama put into the beginning of my career\u2026me and my mom \u201cdeveloped\u201d my career I was already known for free styling and I was already working on Tina snow before I got to 1501.\u201d— TINA SNOW (@TINA SNOW) 1661309138
Megan goes on further to say that 1501 could only do so much for her, and she asked to renegotiate her contract after signing with 300 Entertainment as she got bigger. She emphasized that she did not ask to leave the label. The rapper goes on to reassert her ties with her beloved hometown of Houston, Texas, claims Crawford used to talk behind Prince's back and alleges that the 42-year old 1501 founder hangs out with 18-year old girls.
\u201cLike for this man to keep getting on the internet with his back up to talk like he made me is ridiculous\u2026 was you writing my songs ? Were you with me in my dorm room recording me rapping ? What abt all that rapping out side my mamma car ? Think cyphers?? I ain\u2019t even know YOU\u201d— TINA SNOW (@TINA SNOW) 1661309440
\u201cThey keep signing people and everyone got the same story \u2026 go find allll the girls and the guys that started over there with me and some of the girls after me\u2026 ask anybody in Houston how that man is fake ass Nigga talked so much shit abt jprince now that\u2019s your bestie ok \ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude44\u201d— TINA SNOW (@TINA SNOW) 1661309696
\u201cI only respond when people say my name so all them weirdo comments abt \u201cI\u2019m looking for sympathy and attention\u201d is DEAD\u2026talk to me & ima talk back when I feel like it\ud83e\udd37\ud83c\udffd\u200d\u2640\ufe0f I don\u2019t need validation from the internet but I\u2019m not weak either \u2026 beat me in court not the comment section\u201d— TINA SNOW (@TINA SNOW) 1661310314
\u201cNow I\u2019m just a made up character from Houston? Nobody in Houston knows me ? I just started \u201cclaiming Houston\u201d when I got famous.. like it ain\u2019t school pictures and some more shit out in the world\u201d— TINA SNOW (@TINA SNOW) 1661320048
\u201cWhen the hate don\u2019t work they just start saying anythingggg \ud83d\ude02 like who is ask anybody? All them 18 year old girls that you hanging with at 42? Cause they damn sure ain\u2019t gone know me either\u201d— TINA SNOW (@TINA SNOW) 1661320524
In an exclusive report by TMZ, shortly after the H-Town Hottie took to Twitter, she filed documents ordering for Prince and Crawford to sit for depositions. The alleged depositions start with Prince on October 24, and Crawford will follow the next day.
If Megan is able to exit the contract, she promises that she will finally embark on a headlining tour.
Photography: Jamie Nelson
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