Wiz Khalifa has filed a lawsuit against his former manager, Benjy Grinberg, and his record label Rostrum Records for pressuring him into an unfavorable "360 deal."
Benjy Grinberg began managing Wiz Khalifa in 2004, when the rapper was 16, and he signed him to his label, Rostrum Records, soon thereafter. Wiz dropped Grinberg as his manager in 2014, though it seems that his deal with Rostrum has continued to this day. His contract with Rostrum is apparently a "360 deal," and Wiz and his legal team are now arguing that it was initiated against his best interests by Grinberg. Yesterday (May 31), Wiz filed a lawsuit against Grinberg and Rostrum with which he hopes to escape his longtime contract. In his suit, Wiz alleges that, in drafting his contract, Grinberg and Rostrum were "faithless fiduciaries in direct contravention of their obligations to him," reports 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 contends that Grinberg took advantage of his young client in order to impel him into a contract that has "reached for more than a decade into virtually every aspect" of his career. Wiz and his attorneys believe that the contract, as well as amendments subsequently made by Grinberg, shows that his former manager deliberately failed to mention alternative business arrangements that would have been beneficial for him to know.
Grinberg said he was "very disappointed and surprised" in a statement responding to yesterday's lawsuit. "To witness an artist turn on you after supporting them for a number of years is very disheartening. This is an egregious lawsuit filled with inaccuracies, yet unfortunately people sometimes resort to these practices as a way of conducting business."
Wiz hopes to end his deal with Rostrum Records, which he feels is justifiable under the California Labor Code's seven-year rule, and he is seeking compensatory damages of $1 million from Grinberg and Rostrum, along with punitive damages and attorney fees.