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WMG owns the rapper’s distributor, 300 Entertainment, and according to Stallion’s legal filing is “one of the few companies that received a copy of ‘Traumazine’ in advance of its formal release”. Her legal team, however, is not accusing WMG itself of the leak.
Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, asked her lawyers to file paperwork in a Houston court last Monday (August 22). According to documents seen by Billboard, lawyers told a judge that Pete “does not 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”.
On August 11, just hours before releasing her second album, Pete publicly addressed leaked music on her Twitter account. The leak, she wrote, included “[her] cover art, pieces of [her] track list and [her] even hearing a part of a song [she hasn’t] dropped yet”.
She continued: “We ALL know who the only ppl who had access to all these PRIVATE links are.” The rapper ended the message saying that she “might as well…lol,” and released ‘Traumazine’ at 12 am ET the following day (Friday, August 12).
From my cover art, pieces of my track list and me even hearing a part of a song I haven’t dropped yet leaking (and we ALL know who the only ppl who had access to all these PRIVATE links are..) I might as well…lol
— TINA SNOW (@theestallion) August 11, 2022
The filing also asks the judge to force internet service providers Cablevision and Datacamp to release information regarding the IP addresses that leaked ‘Traumazine’.
Meanwhile, Pete recently updated her complaint against her record label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, seeking at least $1million in damages and asking a Texas court to end her contractual relationship with them.
In an amended complaint filed in mid August, the rapper asked a Harris County judge to rule that her new album ‘Traumazine’ and last year’s ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ both constitute “album[s]” as defined in her agreement with 1501.
If successful it would mean the rapper would have “satisfied all option periods” in her 2018 contract with the label, releasing her from it. The amended complaint is the latest in Megan’s lengthy legal conflict with 1501, and is an elevation of a lawsuit the rapper filed against her label earlier this year.
In February, Pete filed a complaint in Harris County District Court, seeking a declaration that her 2021 release ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ constituted an album under the rapper’s contract with 1501 – something the label disagreed with following its release. The following month, the label countersued Pete, arguing that ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ was simply a compilation of previously released material.
According to the rapper and her legal team, 1501’s only requirement for something to be considered an “album” in their contractual agreement with the rapper is that it is over 45 minutes in length. ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ – which includes previously released freestyles, her 2021 single ‘Thot Shit’, unreleased archival tracks, skits and more – has a total runtime of 45:02.
1501 pushed back, arguing that their contract with Megan gave them oversight over what constituted an “album” for contractual purposes, and that they’d told her ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ would not count.
“She can’t just deliver us an album that we did not approve and then claim it satisfies her recording contract,” Steven M. Zager, an attorney for 1501, told Billboard in February.
The case continues.