Cardi B Wins $30 Million Lawsuit Against Former Manager

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Cardi B has emerged victorious in a years-running lawsuit against her former manager, Klenord “Shaft” Raphael.

Shaft levied the firmly-worded complaint against Cardi B (whose full name is Belcalis Almánzar) back in April of 2018, alleging that the New York City native had “materially breached” the terms of an exclusive record deal with KSR Group as well as an exclusive management agreement with WorldStar Marketing Group. (As an interesting aside, Cardi B is still fighting a “tattoo” lawsuit alongside KSR, which released her Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol.1 and Vol. 2 mixtapes.)

In addition to allegedly violating her contract with KSR by signing with a different entity, Cardi B purportedly damaged the plaintiffs’ reputation (Shaft is the “sole shareholder” of WorldStar and the “sole member” of KSR, per the original complaint) by publishing critical social media posts. Moreover, the plaintiffs maintained that Almánzar had been “catapulted from exotic dancer and social media presence to music icon” because of their professional maneuvers.

The “Bodak Yellow” artist in July of 2018 denied the allegations and, in the same nearly 90-page-long filing, introduced several far-reaching counterclaims. Specifically, the legal text characterized Shaft as “a self-serving and controlling personal manager” who engaged in “deceitful and disloyal conduct.”

Shaft, the counterclaim indicated, had negotiated a series of “onerous” deals, including one that saw Cardi B provide KSR with half of her recording and publishing royalties, besides a quarter of her “entertainment-related” income. The latter was calculated on top of the 20 percent commission that the rapper had agreed to pay WorldStar for entertainment earnings in a different contract.

Now, a new legal filing reveals that Shaft and Cardi B have reached a (reportedly $30 million) settlement, covering royalties that Shaft/KSR owed the artist. Both the initial complaint and the counterclaims have been dismissed with prejudice, and Cardi B commented on the courtroom confrontation’s conclusion in a brief statement.

“Feels good to be free,” wrote the 28-year-old, who released “WAP,” the lead single from her upcoming second studio album, in August. At the time of this piece’s writing, neither KSR nor Shaft himself had addressed the settlement on Instagram.

In September, Cardi B was named in a $20 million defamation suit following an ugly confrontation between her 24-year-old sister, Hennessy Carolina, and a trio of Trump supporters. And earlier this month, Chance the Rapper became embroiled in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with his former manager – as did Lil Wayne, in a separate case.