Lil Wayne files $40 million lawsuit against Universal Music Group

Rapper accuses label of withholding royalties

Lil Wayne has launched a $40 million (£28.3 million) lawsuit against Universal Music Group.

The rapper has accused the label of withholding royalties from both his music and the artists his Young Money label helped foster.

He also claims claims that UMG is repaying its own debts with Young Money royalties following a $100 million (£70.7 million) advance it reportedly gave Cash Money Records.


Wayne has a 49 percent ownership stake in his Young Money label – the Cash Money offshoot that is home to artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj.


“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,” Wayne’s lawsuit states. “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.”

A Universal spokesperson told Rolling Stone: “These claims are entirely without merit. It should be no surprise that we learned of the lawyer’s complaint through the news media. 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.”

The new suit is separate from the still open $51 million (£36.1 million) lawsuit Wayne has against Cash Money Records.

Wayne’s deal with Cash Money and Universal officially expired June 4, 2015 and he has been locked into litigation with the label since January of that year after Cash Money refused to release his long awaited album ‘Tha Carter V’.

Last month, Zayn Malik teased a remix of his chart-topping single ‘Pillowtalk’ featuring Lil Wayne.