Earlier this month, it was reported that Hip-Hop duo Black Sheep is leading a $750 million class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group over artist royalties related to Spotify streams. Black Sheep Dres (as he is now known) and band-mate Mista Lawnge released two major label albums as Black Sheep (ahead of some independent releases). Their suit alleges that they never agreed to the royalty terms of streaming, as the duo signed nearly 20 years before the technology existed. Furthermore, per reports earlier this month, Black Sheep contend that an agreement UMG made with Spotify compromised royalties in place for artists without their knowledge or consent.
Dres unpacks the lawsuit on a clip from his recent appearance on Math Hoffa’s My Expert Opinion podcast. Forty seconds into the interview clip (embedded below), Dres confirms the details of the lawsuit. “It’s a class action suit; I’m merely the tip of that spear,” says the New York MC regarding the eye-grabbing $750 million monetary figure. Mecca, an MC/journalist and industry veteran, asks his peer the question. “I put this sh*t into motion; I filed the paperwork. But the class action is this: everybody that did a deal before streaming existed needs to join me,” Dres adds. “Everybody who did a deal before streaming existed, is welcome [to join me],” he urges while looking into the camera. “I’ve given plenty [of] cats my lawyer’s [phone] number to jump on with me, ’cause it’s not about me, it’s about us.” The artist who worked with De La Soul, Showbiz & A.G., Vanessa Williams, and others argues that this collectively-minded approach should be the new normal.
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