theJasmineBRAND.com exclusively reports, the late singer Aaliyah is at the center of a nasty legal battle over royalties from her 2001 self-titled album, with a music producer accusing the singer’s uncle and his record label of screwing him out of his cut for years and robbing him of over $400k+.
A music producer has slapped Aaliyah’s uncle with a federal lawsuit accusing him of screwing him out of over $400k in royalties – over songs he wrote for both the late singer and Tank – and he is demanding the uncle cough up the money ASAP.
Music producer J-Dub – real name Jeffrey Walker – filed a federal lawsuit against Blackground Records and Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson accusing them of screwing him out of royalties on the late singer’s music.
J-Dub explains he has been successful over the years and even worked with Diddy from 1996-2000 at Bad Boy Records, where he created numerous hit songs. He says Hankerson then persuaded him to move from Georgia to Los Angeles to serve as the primary produce for Blackground Records, run by Hankerson and his son Jomo.
The producer signed a management agreement with Hankerson to help his music career in production and songwriting. The deal stated Blackground would have the right to collect the money made by J-Dub, take their 10% and then pay the remaining balance to the producer.
Hankerson obtained a deal for the producer with Black Fountain Publishing which stated J-Dub would work exclusively with the company to produce music. The deal stated that the producer would be paid an advance of $200k but he says he only received $100k.
J-Dub says that he worked on Aaliyah’s songs “Refuse” and “What If” off her self-titled album and also composed 2 tracks for singer Tank off his debut album. He says he wrote and was credited with 50% ownership of the songs and he was to be paid 4% of the royalties.
He says that following Aaliyah’s tragic death in 2001, he moved back to Atlanta and since 2003 he has yet to be paid from the songs he wrote. Further, he accuses Hankerson and Blackground Records of not sending him accounting statements for the music sales, which was required per their deal.
Aaliyah’s album spent 68 weeks on the Billboard 200 and sold over 2.6 million copies. Tank’s record debuted at number one on the R&B charts and was very successful.
Things started to get bad for the producer when in July 2012, the IRS informed him he owed taxes on $262,580 of income that was reported by EMI for royalty payments from 2004-2011, which he never should have been billed for, since he never received those checks. He discovered the money was sent to Hankerson and the label and they never paid it out to him.
J-Dub says he also learned that he is missing royalties in the amount of $438,050 from 2004-2010. The producer has filed suit for breach of contract and is demanding the $438k in unpaid royalties + $200k in compensatory damages and full accounting for the profits from his songs & attorney fees.