Rapper Megan Thee Stallion finally has severed her business relationship with 1501 Certified Entertainment, the label that debuted the Grammy winner’s first major projects, after four years of feverous dispute.
She and the record label have settled their legal disputes. Claims included that when she signed to the record company the contract in 2018 was unfair and below industry standards, and that the label consistently did underhanded business dealings to keep her on the label. Now with the settlement, she is finally free to create on her own or with another recording company.
Not Happy With Deal
According to sources, the “WAP” rapper realized that her deal was flawed after reviewing her terms with her new lawyers in 2019, launching an effort to dissolve the relationship. The Houston native turned to the courts to help her get out of her contract. However, her wish to leave 1501 prompted a series of public fights with executives at the boutique entertainment brand pointing at her new management with Roc Nation.
Things Got Legal
In February 2022, one complaint insisted that 1501 had refused to count her 2021 project, “Something for Thee Hotties,” as an “album,” which was necessary to meet her contractual obligation of delivering three albums to her record label.
In response, the label filed a countersuit, arguing that it didn’t qualify as an album due to its limited original content, totaling just 29 minutes. According to 1501, the project was a compilation featuring previously released work from her YouTube channel and unreleased archival songs. Despite 1501’s attempt to downplay it, music journalists praised the project, considering it a strong example of her rap skills.
In August 2022, right after the release of her “Traumazine” album, Megan Thee Stallion filed yet another complaint against 1501, where her lawyers demanded over $1 million in damages for underhanded dealings with her budget. The lawsuit claimed the label consistently underpaid her in royalties. She also claimed they leaked her project.
First, the lawsuit claimed the company “wrongfully allowed for excessive marketing and promotion charges” to be imposed on the artist’s budget. Then it went into how the album was released.
In response, 1501 promptly contested the demands, calling them as unfounded, and asserting that it was Megan who owed them “millions of dollars.”
“There’s not a shred of evidence that we leaked ‘Traumazine.’ I don’t even think my guys would know how to leak it. Nor can I think of a motive. We participate with Megan in the profits. Why would we want to do that? It’s coming completely out of left field,” 1501’s attorney Steven Zager said.
Eventually, in December 2022, a judge decided their conflicts should be settled in trial.
1501 announced on Thursday, Oct. 19 the two parties “mutually reached a confidential settlement to resolve their legal differences” and will “amicably part ways,” according to Billboard.
The exact details of the agreement remain private, including if either party was required to pay money in damages.
“Both Megan and 1501 are pleased to put this matter behind them and move forward with the next chapter of their respective businesses,” the statement continued.
The rapper actually let her fans know that she was a free agent on her Instagram Live on Oct. 12. In a bold declaration on independence, she said she would be funding her own projects from now on out of her own pot. She has an estimated net worth of $8 million.
“This part of my album is very much so funded by Megan Thee Stallion because we’re trying to get off… Y’all know what’s the tea. But I have no label right now,” she said.
“We’re doing everything funded straight out of Megan Thee Stallion’s pockets,” the celebrity continued. “So, the budget is coming from me. Motherf—ing Hot Girl Productions! The next s— y’all about to see is all straight from Megan Thee Stallion’s brain and Megan Thee Stallion’s wallet. We are in my pockets, hotties, so let’s do our big one.”
She continued, “It’s really just me this go around until we sign to a new label. But I don’t want to sign to a new label right now because I just want to do it myself,” she shared, setting the field for a bidding war to capitalize on her star power.