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Rap megastar, manager trade litigation punches in contract spat

Proud yet disappointed.

That is the sentiment expressed by Klenord Raphael concerning the meteoric rise of a young pop superstar who he says has treated him grievously in the wake of her success.

Unsurprisingly, Belcasis Almanzar’s take on the matter is somewhat different. Almanzar – better known by her professional moniker Cardi B – says that Raphael (who goes by the name Shaft in the entertainment industry) has been steadily ripping her off for years. A lawsuit she recently filed against his management company contends that he must now literally pay the price for that.

Actually, Shaft was first with the litigation trigger, filing a legal claim that points centrally to contractual language binding Cardi B to his company for a multi-year period. The agreement inked between the singer and WorldStar Marketing Group several years ago provides for an option to retain the superstar’s services for multiple years following an exclusive one-year deal. Shaft claims Cardi B has breached the contract and owes him a considerable amount of money in lost revenues.

The rapper’s countersuit stresses otherwise. It contends that Shaft’s claim lacks merit because the singer duly complied with the timing requirements to extinguish the contractual relationship after the initial one-year term. Given such compliance, the filing asserts, Cardi B has no professional obligations to Shaft or his company whatever.

The singer’s counterclaim makes a number of additional points, as well. It alleges fraud committed upon her pursuant to Shaft unjustly enriching himself through a number of impermissible side deals, coupled with a material breaching of his company’s fiduciary duties owed to the performer while she was under contract.

In relating the details of the contractual war, Forbes notes that it is “a messy although not uncommon music industry dispute.”

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