Megan Thee Stallion, one of last year’s breakout rap stars, started this one off strong with “B.I.T.C.H.,” the lead single from a new album called Suga. Things have since gone off the rails.
On Sunday, Megan (real name Megan Pete) went on Instagram Live to accuse her label, Houston-based 1501 Certified Entertainment, of preventing her from releasing new music after she asked to renegotiate her contract. According to Megan, her new managers at Roc Nation pointed out some unfavorable clauses in the contract, which she then asked 1501 to revise. The label allegedly responded by blocking her from releasing music.
On Monday, a federal judge in Houston granted Megan a temporary restraining order against 1501, ordering the label “to do nothing to prevent the release, distribution, and sale of Pete’s new records.” In a lawsuit seeking to be released from her contract, the rapper alleges that the terms of her deal are “unconscionable” for various reasons and that 1501 has only paid her $15,000 despite an estimated $7 million in profits from streaming and track sales. Megan also claims in the lawsuit that she has been “attacked and threatened on social media” by 1501 founder Carl Crawford and his associates.
Now Crawford, a former Major League Baseball player, has responded to Megan’s allegations in an interview with Billboard. It’s a whole lie,” Crawford said. “Nothing is true that she said. Me being greedy and taking money from her, that’s crazy. I never tried to take nothing from her. The only thing we ever did was give, give, give.”
Crawford alleges that Megan has not spoken to him or paid 1501 its share of her merchandise and live touring proceeds since she signed with Roc Nation in September, a tactic he says is intended to leverage him into renegotiating the deal or cutting her loose so she can sign to Roc Nation’s record label. As for her current deal, he told Billboard, “It’s a great contract for a first-timer. What contract gives parts of their masters and 40% royalties and all that kind of stuff? Ask Jay-Z to pull one of his artists’ first contracts, and let’s compare it to what Megan got… I guarantee they won’t ever show you that.”
Crawford said he never blocked Megan from releasing new music. He also told Billboard he has paid her well over $15,000, including a $50,000 check when she signed a distribution deal with 300 Entertainment. “She tried to say we didn’t do nothing for her?” Crawford said. “Well I got $500,000-$800,000 worth of receipts that show we did do something for her.” He suggested that she knows she can turn her large social media following loose on him, and that she would already be out of her 1501 deal and signed to Roc Nation if Crawford did not have influential Rap-A-Lot Records CEO J. Prince in his corner.
Elsewhere in the interview, Crawford said, “Where was Roc Nation at when we was grinding and riding around on them backstreets?” Roc Nation was nowhere to be found. Soon as we spent our money, blow it up, now all of a sudden, these strangers and people you just met — they introduce you to Beyoncé and now we the devil? We were just the angels sent from the sky. Now, we’re the devil just because Jay-Z saved you. You’re so fake.”