Danish rapper Sleiman has filed a lawsuit against Tekashi69 Publishing over an unreleased track. Now, two rappers, several music companies, and a multinational major label are involved.
Alongside his company, Apache Music IVS, Sleiman claims the now-jailed Tekashi 6ix9ine (real name Daniel Hernandez) pulled a fast one on their jointly recorded song, ‘Red Bandnna [sic] / Black Hoodie.’
Apache Music had paid around €88,000 (just under $99,000) to Hernandez’s publishing company to set up the collaboration. But that side deal soon encountered problems.
Tekashi 6ix9ine recorded the vocals for the track. His label, 10K Projects, however, subsequently claimed it had full rights to the work. Thus, the label declared it won’t release the track, threatening Sleiman with legal action should he release the song through partner label Universal Music Denmark.
10K Projects, founded by Elliot Grainge (son of UMG boss Lucian Grainge) in 2016, says any Tekashi 6ix9ine track release requires its approval. However, as Sleiman paid for and recorded the track, 10K Projects’ refusal shouldn’t affect his ability to release the song.
As 10K Projects refuses to authorize the track’s release, Sleiman has sued for the song’s rights. He has also demanded a full refund of the money he paid for the collaboration.
The lawsuit reads,
“Plaintiffs (Sleiman and Apache Music) are entitled to a judgment declaring that, pursuant to the Agreement, Plaintiffs have the right to exploit the Song, including the use of Mr. Hernandez’s name in connection therewith, without first obtaining 10k’s permission, approval, consent or ‘clearance,’ and without owing compensation to 10k, and that Plaintiffs are the lawful copyright claimants for the Song.”
Sleiman also blamed Elliot Grainge’s relationship with his father as the reason for the label’s refusal.
“On information and belief, Universal Music Denmark is related to the Universal Music Group, whose Chairman is the father of 10K’s owner.
“As a direct and proximate result of 10K contacting Universal Music Denmark, Universal Music Denmark didn’t proceed with entering into a recording agreement with Sleiman.”
Lambasting 10K Projects, Sleiman’s lawyer, Richard Roth, explained that current U.S. copyright laws is designed to protect creators. Through its refusal, Elliot Grainge’s label has engaged in “nefarious conduct.”
“We intend on proving that’s precisely what happened here and that such conduct was willful, which will allow Sleiman not only the proper credit for the work, but all monies to which he’s entitled, including legal fees.”
Sleiman has asked for a jury trial in addition to no less than €88,000 (just under $99,000) in damages.
You can view the lawsuit below.