Wiz Khalifa has slapped his former manager, Benjy Grinberg, and his record label, Rostrum Records, with a lawsuit claiming they allegedly pressured him into signing a bad “360 deal.”
This comes as no surprise, since it’s no secret that “360 deals,” which were popular particularly among hip-hop artists over the past decade, have proven to be terrible for artists and borderline unethical.
Grinberg began managing Wiz in 2004 and signed him to Rostrum Records. Although Wiz dropped Grinberg as his manager in 2014, the rapper’s deal with Rostrum continues. Wiz and his legal team are arguing that the deal with the record label, a 360 deal, was against his best interests.
Yesterday (May 31), the Taylor Gang leader filed a lawsuit against Grinberg and Rostrum in an attempt to get out of his contract, saying that Grinberg and Rostrum were “faithless fiduciaries in direct contravention of their obligations to him,” according to Variety.
“An artist’s most trusted advisor is his or her personal manager,” said Alex Weingarten, Khalifa’s attorney at Venable LLP. “Generally, nothing good comes out when the manager decides to go into business against his artist. Unfortunately, that is the case here.”
The lawsuit alleges that Grinberg, who’d been working with Wiz since he was just 16, took advantage of his young client and pushed him into a shady contract that “reached for more than a decade into virtually every aspect” of his career. Grinberg reportedly failed to mentioned alternative business arrangements involving Wiz that would’ve been beneficial for him to know.
For his part, Grinberg, of course, claims to be shocked by the lawsuit’s allegations.
“To witness an artist turn on you after supporting them for a number of years is very disheartening,” he said. “This is an egregious lawsuit filled with inaccuracies, yet unfortunately people sometimes resort to these practices as a way of conducting business.”
Reportedly, Wiz is ultimately looking to terminate his deal Rostrum Records, which according to his lawyers, is justifiable under the California Labor Code’s seven-year rule. He’s also seeking $1 million from Grinberg and Rostrum Records, along with punitive damages and attorney fees.