Rapper Cardi B has responded to a lawsuit filed by her former manager, Klenord Raphael, who claims the rapper reneged on their contract, with a $15 million counterclaim and a demand to void their original contract.
Raphael, known as Shaft, filed a lawsuit in April against the new rap superstar soon after she finally dropped her debut album (more below). The lawsuit also names as defendants current managers Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas of Quality Control Management. Raphael claims that, after discovering Cardi B, signing her and recording her, he was cut off from his 20 percent cut of her revenue once she saw success. He also sued Cardi B – real name Belcalis Almanzar – claiming she and her publicist, Patientce Foster (sic) disparaged him on social media.
The counterclaim, filed by Almanzar, (minus Foster, Quality Control Management, Lee and Thomas), denies almost all but the basic allegations, acknowledging that Foster is indeed her publicist, for example, or that she did indeed sign a management contract and recording contract with Raphael and his company WorldStar.
The counterclaim alleges that the contract should be pronounced null and void because Raphael and WorldStar did not live up to their side of the agreement, such as providing outside counsel for the agreement, for not providing a business manager and “specifically by failing to review and fully disclose the material terms of the KSR Recording Agreement and the Furnishing Agreement with Ms. Almanzar.”
“Shaft and KSR/WorldStar controlled all the books and records relating to Ms. Almanzar’s professional activities,” the counterclaim reads. “When they did finally provide some cryptic, incomplete information in or around early 2018, it became clear that KSR and/or its employees had been helping themselves to the “Bank of Almanzar,” taking Ms. Almanzar’s earnings for purported personal loans.
“One summary statement provided to Ms. Almanzar at this time showed that in or around June of 2017, an employee of KSR had taken $15,000, which was apparently booked as a ‘loan’ to the employee from Ms. Almanzar in KSR’s records. Unlike most loans, this loan was not formalized with any note, carried no interest, required no collateral and provided no realistic means of repayment.”
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages of $5 million, punitive damages of $15 million, rescission of the management agreement and the KSR Recording agreement and payment of all attorneys fees, among other requests.
THE ORIGINAL LAWSUIT
Cardi B Sued By Her Former Manager
Rapper Cardi B has been hit with a $10 million lawsuit brought by her former manager Klenord Raphael, who accused his former client and Quality Control Management of alleged breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and defamation. He’s also accused her current managers Quality Control Management’s Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas of tortious interference.
Raphael, who also goes by the sobriquet of Shaft, claims that after he began working with Cardi B after discovering her as an exotic dancer and social media personality in 2015. However, Raphael alleges that she cut him out of his career after she found success with his assistance.
“Shaft conceived, arranged and orchestrated Cardi B’s rise to become the biggest music sensation on the planet. Owing to his vision and drive, Cardi B can now bring her talents to the world and obtain a level of success few artists ever achieve. 22. But as is sometimes the case with artists who obtain a measurable level of success, Cardi B has reneged on valid and binding agreements in an effort to cause Plaintiffs to forfeit their substantial rights and benefits in her entertainment career and to enrich herself and others who played no role in developing her career,” attorneys representing Raphael wrote in the civil complaint.
Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, signed a deal Quality Control Management in March. The Altanta-based management company and record label also represent Lil Yachty, and the rap group Migos, of which Cardi B’s fiance Offset is a member of.
In the lawsuit, Raphael alleges that Cardi B’s publicist, who has the oddly-spelled name Patientce Foster, and who has also been named as a defendant in the suit, engaged in a “campaign of lies” against Raphael, in an attempt to lure her to switch representation and thus improperly induced her to materially breach the WorldStar exclusive management agreement.
Cardi B is currently one of the hottest hip-hop artists with the success of her smash hit “Bodak Yellow” last year. Her latest album “Invasion of Privacy” was released earlier this month and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200.
Raphael is seeking at least $10 million damages through the suit.