Rostrum Records’ founder Benjy Grinberg has come forward to speak out on a publicized $1 million lawsuit filed against him and the label by former roster artist Wiz Khalifa.
In a statement, Grinberg stood behind his record company and fired back at Khalifa’s claims.
“Thirteen years ago, we started Rostrum Records as a label that would support and nurture the artists we believe in. We are very grateful that Rostrum has been able to achieve that goal and provide a strong, family atmosphere where meaningful relationships with the artists is our top priority. To give everything you have to an artist and then be on the receiving end of a fabricated lawsuit is deeply disappointing. What was alleged is, in fact, the complete opposite of our actions and the antithesis of what Rostrum Records and I stand for. Rostrum looks forward to quickly addressing these baseless claims so we can continue to focus our energies on our artists’ success.” (Billboard)
Last month, reports surfaced and revealed Khalifa wanted at least $1 million for a deceptive 360-deal and self dealing transactions during their 10-year run together.
The lawsuit notes that Grinberg began representing Khalifa in 2004, when the recording artist was just 16. His lawsuit contends that Grinberg and his label “induced” him to enter into a “360 agreement,” which provided that Khalifa would be exclusive to Rostrum and Rostrum would share in his income streams as a songwriter and touring a merchandising. The lawsuit contends that with that contract and a series of amendments, Grinberg failed to disclose alternative arrangements that could be more beneficial to him, and instead tied him to an agreement that “reached for more than a decade into virtually every aspect” of his professional life. (Variety)
In 2014, rapper Mac Miller also parted ways with Rostrum Records.
“I’m trying to not let [the deal] factor in. I’ve held on and been independent and done my own thing long enough that they trust me and are going to let me make what I want to make. I think that the second I let that affect the creation, it’s horrible.” (The FADER)
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Miller’s former labelmate Vali previously spoke to SOHH about his Rostrum Records exit.
“We still text. He dyed his hair pink. [laughs] So we’ve been texting about that,” Vali told SOHH referring to Miller’s recent hairdo change. “We’re still family. I respect him and everything that he’s doing with his movement and his project. He’s been signed to Rostrum for a while and they really helped him get his projects off the ground. His contract was up and I think he just wants to explore his life and do other things. I know he travels a lot now. He was in Australia the other day. I just think he wants to be more global with his brand. And sometimes you have to leave home and you can’t stay home forever.” (SOHH)