Birdman Sues Tidal For $50 Million Over Lil Wayne Album

17 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Birdman And Young Thug Named In Indictment For Lil Wayne Shooting.

It’s Birdman vs. It appears as if Bryan “Birdman” Williams’ career-long habit of shady business tactics in running his label Cash Money Records may have gone too far.MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A man charged with shooting into Lil Wayne’s tour buses on a Georgia highway called cellphones linked to rappers Young Thug and Birdman before and after the gunfire, according to an indictment in the case.Atlanta rapper Young Thug’s rap sheet grew longer Thursday when another police agency added additional charges, including felony weapon and drug violations. Birdman and his newly affiliated artist Jeffrey “Young Thug” Williams are named – though not charged – in an indictment against the man accused of shooting up disaffected Cash Money artist Lil Wayne’s tour bus in Atlanta this past April.

The 23-year-old, whose real name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to shoot a Perimeter Mall security guard in the face, according to the U.S. Cash Money alleges Aspiro et al. of tortious interference with contract, unfair competition, and conversion, and seeks damages of at least $50 million and injunction of the streaming of FWA on Tidal.

Most notably for all parties involved, Winfrey made a call to a phone number owned by Young Thug right before the shooting and to one owned by Birdman right afterwards, as reported by the Associated Press. Birdman’s label asserts that the defendants knew Wayne had an exclusive recording contract with Cash Money that prohibited the rapper from distributing his music without the label’s consent. “Defendants have been, and are continuing to, feature and promote Carter’s recordings throughout the world via Defendants’ fledgling digital streaming music service known as ‘Tidal,’ ” the suit reads, “all in brazen defiance of CMR’s exclusive rights under the exclusive recording agreement.” Tidal claims Wayne was a co-owner of the tracks and was able to consent distribution of “Glory,” an exclusive track that debuted in June, and FWA in exchange for a piece of ownership in the streaming service. The court documents, filed in Cob County, Ga., details 30 counts against Winfrey—including aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, possession of a firearm and violation of both the RICO Act and Street Gang Terrorism Prevention Act. Cash Money adds the absence of control in the release created damaging confusion regarding the label’s role in releasing a record with “tepid reviews.”

The indictment opens by giving substantial background, first identifying Winfrey, Young Thug, Birdman and Lil Wayne as Blood gang members, and claiming that the defendant (Winfrey) is a high-ranking member in the Young Slime Life subset of the Bloods. It goes on to say that on the night of the incident, Young Thug was booed offstage at a New Orleans gig to the crowd chanting Lil Wayne’s name, with Wayne performing the same night in Atlanta. Tidal has been messed up since its disastrous tone-deaf celebrity circlejerk debut press conference, losing CEOs and failing to gain footing in a competitive market. The indictment alleges that when Wayne performed in Thugger’s native Atlanta (as luck would have it, on the exact same night), something worse than some booing would be waiting for him. This lawsuit is just a shit-drop on a pile of diarrhea at this point, but it’s a shit-drop that could have a big impact on how streaming services and music labels interact, potentially by underlining that contracts don’t dissolve when digital streaming opportunity knocks.

I don’t know how it will play out, but even though an eventual win would be good for Tidal, just the news of litigation adds to the service’s messy reputation. Winfrey appears in a Young Thug video released a few weeks after the incident that contains a lyrical threat to shoot Wayne, and waves a rifle at the camera at the appropriate moment – the same kind of assault rifle prosecutors allege was used in the shooting.

When Lil Wayne performed at an Atlanta nightclub in April, the indictment says, Atlanta police saw Winfrey pull up outside the venue in a white Chevrolet Camaro. Williams, who was born in Sylvan Hills in southwest Atlanta, is best known for his recent single “Stoner” and is a member of Gucci Mane’s Atlanta-based record label. The once tight-knit relationship between Weezy and Birdman (Wayne used to refer to Williams as a father figure) went left last year following a dispute over management and the release of Lil Wayne’s latest album, Tha Carter V. It says police, “fearing gang violence,” escorted Lil Wayne from the club and patrol cars stayed with his buses until they left the Atlanta city limits. Jeffrey Williams’ attorney, Brian Steel, declined to comment Thursday on his arrest in DeKalb County as well as the allegations in the bus shooting indictment.

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