Legal Drama, Music Business

Video: Tyga claims Cash Money Records owes him $12 million, Birdman says that’s bogus!


Micheal Ray Stevenson aka Tyga, an American rapper known for his hit single ‘Rack City,’ was a  guest on New York’s Power 105.1 The Breakfast Club a few days ago, and during his time there, discussed a lot of topics, including his relationship with reality television stars, Kylie Jenner, Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna and alleged false rumors about his life. But what stood out most for me was his discussion on his recording deal with Birdman’s Cash Money Records.

Tyga claims he was represented by Cash Money Records’ attorney when he signed a contract with the label and he did not know what he was signing.

“I had a lawyer but like my lawyer at the time was the same lawyer that representing Cash Money.”

He also claims that Cash Money owes him $12 million, yet he had to pay $1 million to buy himself out of the contract and that he has no intentions to sue. Since his claim, Birdman has said his claim is bogus. In addition, sources from Cash Money Records have allegedly claimed Tyga was the one who walked out on his contract while he was yet to deliver on albums.

Interesting. Let me underscore one important point from all of this brouhaha for the benefit of artists reading this. Artists, there is no such thing as having the lawyer of the record label you are signing a deal with also represent you. This is because it would be a conflict of interest for such a lawyer to do so. Your interest and that of the label are, for the most part, always at odds. You want a shorter contractual period, they want longer. You want to give them a license to exploit your intellectual property. They, however, most likely want an assignment of rights of your intellectual property etc. So, no lawyer that represents a label should tell you they also represent you when you are signing a recording deal with the label.

As an artist, even if you are a teenager, you should hire your own entertainment lawyer and go into the negotiating room with your lawyer.

-Ms. Uduak

Watch the interview below. Warning: Strong language

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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