Home Artist ’90s Hip-Hop Duo Black Sheep Sues Universal Music Over an Alleged $750M...

’90s Hip-Hop Duo Black Sheep Sues Universal Music Over an Alleged $750M in Unpaid Spotify Stock Royalties


A prominent ’90s hip-hop duo is suing Universal Music Group for withholding royalties tied to what they’re alleging is a “sweetheart” deal the label reached with Spotify in the late 2000s.

Filed Wednesday (Jan. 4) in U.S. district court in New York by attorneys representing Andres Titus (Dres) and William McLean (Mista Lawnge), members of the hip-hop duo Black Sheep, the lawsuit claims UMG owes its artists approximately $750 million in royalties deriving from the company’s stock in Spotify. Under a licensing deal they claim UMG and the streaming giant reached in 2008, the label agreed to receive lower royalty payments in exchange for equity in the then-nascent streaming company. But Titus and McLean say the label breached their contract with Black Sheep and other artists by withholding what they argue is the artists’ rightful 50% share of UMG’s now-lucrative Spotify stock — and otherwise failing to compensate them for the lower royalty payments they received as a result of the alleged deal.

“Rather than distribute to artists their 50% of Spotify stock or pay artists their true and accurate royalty payments, for years Universal shortchanged artists and deprived Plaintiffs and Class Members of…

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