When Megan Thee Stallion launches her new album cycle with the much anticipated single “Thot Sh–“ on Friday, she’ll still be releasing the music on 1501 Certified Entertainment, the label run by former Major League Baseball star Carl Crawford that she sued last year over unfair contract terms.
Crawford is currently appealing a decision by a Texas Judge who blocked Crawford’s attempt to force the legal fight into arbitration. Sources familiar with the situation tell Billboard that Megan Thee Stallion’s 12-count lawsuit against Crawford with allegations that include fraud and unconscionability can move forward. There are currently no dates yet set for the next trial hearing, but the source expects it to occur by September.
Last March, Megan Thee Stallion filed a lawsuit to get out of her recording contract with 1501 and received a temporary restraining order from a Texas judge that prohibited the label from restricting her right to release new music. In the restraining order request, the rapper called her contract with 1501 “unconscionable,” claiming she was only paid $15,000 from the label after earning more than 1 billion streams and selling over 300,000 individual track downloads — which was combined worth an estimated $7 million.
The contract — which was included in the lawsuit — shows under the 360-deal she signed with 1501, the label receives ownership of her master recordings, 60% of her net recording royalties, 50% of her publishing, 30% of her revenue from merchandising, sponsorships, and endorsements, and 30% of revenue from live performances and side artist engagements over $1,000.
Megan Thee Stallion also alleged she was “attacked and threatened on social media” by Crawford and his associates after joining Roc Nation for management in September 2019.
Crawford denied the allegations in an interview with Billboard, saying, “Nothing is true that she said…. The only thing we ever did was give, give, give.”
Days after the lawsuit was filed, Megan Thee Stallion released her Suga EP through 1501 with distribution from 300 Entertainment. That album included the hit “Savage” and was followed by a remix for the song featuring Beyoncé that hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 and landed Megan Thee Stallion three Grammys earlier this year, including best rap performance and best rap song.
Megan Thee Stallion is no longer trying to leave 1501, according to sources familiar with the situation, but a legal “dispute about the fairness of her contract” continues and she is still seeking better terms.
She is “trying to correct the deal revise it for who she is today,” says the source. In the meantime, she will release new music under the current terms of her deal.
Additional reporting from Dave Brooks.