×

Eazy E sues Sony Music, others

Eric (Eazy E) Wright, one of the founders of the rap group N.W.A and the head of Ruthless Records, has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that charges various incidents of racketeering, extortion and money laundering in connection with a contractual dispute between Ruthless and Sony Music.

The suit also claims violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Named as defendants in the suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, were Sony Music Entertainment; Death Row Records (owned by Andre Young, aka “Dr. Dre” of N.W.A, Dick Griffey, and Marion “Suge” Knight); Solar Records (operated as a joint venture between Sony, Dick Griffey and Virgil Roberts); Sony executives Tommy Mottola, Hank Caldwell, David Glew and Craig Sussman; recording artist Tracy Curry, aka The D.O.C.; and Michelle Toussant, aka recording artist Michel le.

The suit alleges Sony interfered with contractual arrangements made by Ruthless with Toussant and Curry as artists and Young as a producer by issuing recordings on Young’s Death Row Records while the defendants were under contract to Ruthless.

In the suit’s most shocking allegation, Wright claims he was forced under duress to sign releases for the artists and Young in the offices of Solar when he was confronted by Knight and several others wielding baseball bats.

“Ruthless owns the copyright to the master recordings,” says Wright’s attorney, Michael Bourbeau. “(The defendants) were well aware of it.” Bourbeau called the suit “a classic RICO case,” alleging that Sony’s deposit of the proceeds from the Death Row recordings was “money laundering.”

Sony responded to the suit yesterday with a statement claiming “launching a lawsuit with a publicity campaign is a clear indication that the plaintiffs are pursuing an agenda other than the legal adjudication of their claim. As far as we are concerned, we look forward to a full and fair review of the facts.” The statement concluded: “We are confident that Sony Music executives acted at all times lawfully, ethically, and with sound business judgment.”

More Music

  • Ryan Adams Sexual Harassment

    Ryan Adams Re-Emerges After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

    Singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, who was blasted with accusations of sexual misconduct earlier this year, including inappropriate texting with a minor, re-emerged on social media with a long post early Saturday. “I have a lot to say. I am going to. Soon,” he wrote. “Because the truth matters. I know who I am. What I am. [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Black Ball

    President Trump Speaks in Support of A$AP Rocky (Watch)

    UPDATED: In one of the more surreal moments from a presidency filled with few not-surreal moments, President Trump spoke out today in support of rapper A$AP Rocky, who has been jailed in Sweden for more than two weeks after an altercation with fans he said were harassing him. “A$AP Rocky is a situation in Sweden, [...]

  • David Crosby and Cameron Crowe'David Crosby:

    Cameron Crowe Picks Five Favorite Underrated David Crosby Tracks

    “Music is love,” as David Crosby once sang, and nothing breeds deeper love than a sense that something is overlooked. So that’s why Variety asked Cameron Crowe to dig deep into the Crosby canon and pick not just a triad but five favorites from among the CSN singer’s most underrated tracks. Crowe, of course, has [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content