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Megan Thee Stallion asks court to force Warner Music to hand over documents relating to Traumazine leak

By | Published on Friday 26 August 2022

Megan Thee Stallion

As she ramps up her legal battle with her label 1501 Certified Entertainment, Megan Thee Stallion has asked a court to force Warner Music to release documents that might reveal who leaked her latest album ‘Traumazine’.

In an updated lawsuit last week, the rapper – real name Megan Pete – accused 1501 of leaking the album in early August, forcing her to fast track its release. The leak, the lawsuit says, “occurred within only a few days” of the album being sent to 1501, meanwhile the label has “not taken any action to help investigate” what happened.

Warner Music is the distributor of the new album via its 300 Entertainment division, and – the new filing confirms – “was one of the few companies that received a copy of ‘Traumazine’ in advance of its formal release”. While, it goes on, she “does not, at this time, accuse” Warner of being involved in the leak, the rapper and her lawyers do believe that it may have information that would help to identify who was behind it.

“Pete wishes to ascertain who subscribed, accessed, and used the relevant IP addresses to illegally leak portions of the album and related artwork to the public”, says the filing. “A subpoena for documents served upon Cablevision and Datacamp should help discover who improperly leaked her artistic work”.

This is part of a long-running legal battle between Pete and 1501, an independent label owned by former baseball player Carl Crawford, which signed the rapper to a wide-ranging deal covering recordings, publishing, merchandise and live activity back in 2018. An original lawsuit claimed that her 2018 contract with 1501 was entirely one-sided and exploited her ignorance of music industry norms.

That lawsuit was dismissed earlier this year, after certain elements of that 2018 deal were revised. However, the contract still required her to deliver two more albums to the label.

She went back to court after 1501 refused to accept that a compilation of YouTube freestyles and tracks from her archives, ‘Something For Thee Hotties’, released last year, counted as one of those albums. She reckons it does, and that ’Traumazine’ therefore fulfils her obligations to the label.

However, 1501 argues that ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ – as basically a compilation – does not qualify as an album under Pete’s record contract, so even if it accepts ‘Traumazine’ as a proper album release, it is still due another record.

Her newly revised lawsuit again argues that ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ should be counted as an album, adding the claims that 1501 was involved in leaking ‘Traumazine’ and a demand for a million dollars in damages.

1501 has denied any involvement in the leak, and said that it is still to decide if it thinks that ‘Traumazine’ should count towards her contractual obligations.