Megan Thee Stallion and Carl Crawford are serving us a learning lesson right before our eyes.
Crawford, who recently filed a countersuit against the “Tina Snow” rapper, has taken umbrage with his artist’s filing of a lawsuit against his label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, and has slapped her with a countersuit.
At the crux of Crawford’s countersuit, though, lies a contractual matter, which ultimately comprises one question: Did Megan Thee Stallion fulfill her contractual obligations to 1501 Certified Entertainment when she dropped her last two albums?
If you believe Carl Crawford, she did not. Per TMZ, Crawford is claiming that “Something for the Hotties” doesn’t qualify as an album — but Megan’s lawyer suggests otherwise.
“This is yet another absurd attempt by 1501 to disregard Megan’s album and squeeze more money and more free work out of her for as long as possible,” said Brad Hancock, the lawyer for Megan Thee Stallion. “We will ask the court to protect Megan from this type of abuse.”
And that’s not all.
Crawford is also claiming that he wants a full accounting of all the sponsorships, endorsements, and other business deals that Megan Thee Stallion has achieved over the course of her career — because, he says, the label is entitled to a cut of all those deals (So, a portion of everything she earned from CashApp to Popeye’s to Revlon could be Crawford’s for the taking, if the court rules in his favor — which further suggests that Meg signed what’s known as a 360 deal with the label) Crawford also claims that the total exceeds more than a million dollars — and he wants that payable immediately.
Aside from this all being a cautionary tale for artists who sign predatory record deals, we decided to take a look at the facts of the case to see whether Megan Thee Stallion or Carl Crawford could, ultimately, prevail.
First off, who is Carl Crawford?
Carl Demonte Crawford is a former Major League Baseball player who was on the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox, and — perhaps most famously — the Los Angeles Dodgers. After his run as a baseball player, he became the CEO of 1501 Certified Entertainment. In 2018, according to The Fader, Crawford signed Megan Thee Stallion. And their description of the terms of the deal was interesting, to say the least — especially in light of recent events.
“Earlier this year, Megan signed with 1501 Certified Ent., an indie label run by local bigwig T. Farris, who’s helped along with the careers of Houston stars like Paul Wall, Mike Jones, and the former MLB player Carl Crawford,” reported the outlet. “Besides her mother, the team working for Megan is currently all men — but she insists that they’re supportive, encouraging Megan to be her ultimate self at all times. “They be like, ‘She in the pit — just let her go,’” she enthuses. “They just love it when I’m raw and talking reckless.”
Megan Thee Stallion: Her Side of the Story
As AfroTech previously reported, Megan Thee Stallion first started taking 1501 Certified Entertainment to court in March of 2020. According to the lawsuit, Meg realized that the contract she’d signed with the indie label was “not only entirely unconscionable but ridiculously so,” and she’d realized it after she’d signed a management contract with Roc Nation.
What’s more, according to Meg’s lawsuit, 1501 Certified Entertainment “literally [did] nothing, while at the same time taking for themselves the vast majority of [her] income from all sources.”
1501 Certified Entertainment failed to block the release of “SUGA” by Megan Thee Stallion back in March 2020, and Megan Thee Stallion released a statement to Rolling Stone thanking the courts for seeing through what she called a “publicity stunt” by the Carl Crawford-led label.
“I’m extremely pleased that 1501 and Carl Crawford were denied the request to dissolve the Court order and try to stop my music from being released. I will proceed with the release of “SUGA” on Friday, March 6,” she said. “To be clear, I will stand up for myself and won’t allow two men to bully me. This has nothing to do with anyone else including JAY-Z, stop deflecting and trying to make this a publicity stunt. I want my rights.”
The Basis of Crawford's Countersuit
TMZ goes into extensive detail about Carl Crawford’s countersuit against Megan Thee Stallion. In a nutshell, Crawford and 1501 Certified Entertainment are claiming that Meg owes the label two more albums before she can be released from her contract. What’s more, they’re claiming that her previous two releases did not qualify as “albums” under the terms of the contract because in part:
- The albums in question were too short, time-wise, to be considered albums
- 1501 Certified Entertainment did not approve the songs on the albums, something that is required as part of her contractual obligations, and
- Some of the songs that are included on the albums are not wholly new compositions (they are, instead, allegedly made up of “spoken-word interludes on which [Megan Thee Stallion] does not appear, as well as several previously-released recordings”) and thus, do not satisfy the terms of the agreement.
We will just have to wait and see who the court will favor in the end of the legal battle.