According to TMZ, the rapper is seeking termination of her contract, and has been granted a temporary restraining order to allow the release of “new records”, which she’s set to drop on Friday (March 6). The order also reportedly prevents the label from threatening the rapper on social media. 1501 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Megan is suing 1501 and its head Carl Crawford for at least $1 million (£783k) in damages, claiming that her contract dictates the label is entitled to 60 per cent of her recording income. Although the remaining 40 per cent is supposedly allocated to Megan, the lawsuit alleges that she must use that portion to pay featured artists, mixers, remixers, and engineers.
In details published by Pitchfork, the lawsuit says that Megan’s contract gives 1501 and Crawford 50 per cent of her publishing, 30 per cent of her touring income, 30 per cent of her merchandising, total control of all merchandising rights, and a cut of her “passive income”, which refers to sponsorships and endorsement deals. The lawsuit claims that the label made “false representations” about the company upon Megan’s signing, and failed to “explain the full nature of the contract”. 1501 also reportedly “failed to take basic, necessary steps” like having her copyrights and trademarks registered.
In a statement filed by Megan, the rapper claims that 1501 has only ever paid her $15,000 (£11,743) and says she has received multiple “direct and veiled threats” from Crawford and J. Prince, the CEO of hip hop label Rap-A-Lot. One example detailed by Megan alleges that a recently surfaced mugshot of her from an arrest when she was 19 years old was “clearly leaked by someone in the 1501 camp” and “designed to harm me and my career”.
The rapper shared her story in an Instagram Live yesterday after a fan tweeted her asking about new music. “Anything you see me do is because I woke up that day and did it,” she said. “I work for everything that I do. And to try and stop me from working is really crazy! All I want to do is put out music.”
Megan explained that she signed with 1501 when she was 20 years old, and wasn’t aware of all the different clauses in her contract. Shortly after she posted the Live, #FREETHEESTALLION and #FREEMEG started trending on Twitter.