3:21pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Wiz Khalifa Sues to End Contract With Manager
Multi-platinum rapper Wiz Khalifa is suing his manager and label to end a decade-long contract he signed as a teenager, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Khalifa, whose legal name is Cameron Thomaz, is suing Benjamin Grinberg and Rostrum Records to end a 360 deal he signed in 2005.
Khalifa is seeking declaratory relief under California's seven-year rule, which says personal services contracts can't be enforced against the employee for more than seven years after the service begins. The statute holds that if the contract requires production of a specified quantity of "phonorecords" and the employee fails to meet that requirement, the employer can sue for damages — but Khalifa's suit claims the deal required him to deliver no more than five studio albums and he's already delivered six.
The rapper also is suing for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, claiming Grinberg induced him to waive his right to void the contract when he turned 18 and failed to disclose alternative agreements which would have been more beneficial to him than a 360 deal.
"An artist’s most trusted advisor is his or her personal manager," says Khalifa's attorney Alex Weingarten. "Generally, nothing good comes out when the manager decides to go into business against his artist. Unfortunately, that is the case here."
The lawsuit also claims Khalifa's managers induced him to enter into transactions by failing to disclose all the material information required to make an informed decision.
He is seeking at least $1 million in damages, plus disgorgement of royalties, commissions and other compensation defendants gained through fraud.
In a statement to Billboard, Grinberg says he was surprised and disappointed by the "egregious" lawsuit.