Artist, musicians, and entertainers throughout the industry never think about legal issues until something happens and they're sitting in court defending themselves. Lawsuits can make or break a successful business/artist and recreate the direction they are pursuing.
There are so many rappers in trouble with the law. In October of 2010, promoter Carl Davis filed a lawsuit against rapper Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., better known by his stage name T.I. It was explained that Davis and Jervon Morgan, T.I.'s first cousin and agent, had put together an agreement for a welcome back party for the artist who had been in prison on weapon charges the previous year. Davis also met with Jason Geter, CEO of Grand hustle LLC, and made a payment of $50,000 into a bank account held by the rapper. Davis said he made the payment even though the rapper, T.I., was on 3 years of home confinement. Later that month after T.I. went on a radio broadcast station stating that he would not be performing at the upcoming welcome back party, Davis suffered a financial lost due to sells, emotional distress, and hospitalization. Davis is suing for misrepresentation, promissory fraud, conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract. In this case, if I were the artist I would apologize and offer to reschedule the concert and hopefully work out things in a more professional manner.
Snoop Dogg, (Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr) is usually known for going to court on procession of illegal substances, but in 2005 he appeared in a California court for assault and battery on an audience member at one of his concerts. Richard Moore says he was hit with a microphone and brutally beaten behind stage after he jumped on stage to touch the rapper. Jurors were also shown a videotape of the incident. In defense the artist, (Snoop Dogg) stated that he felt he was being attacked when the man suddenly jumped on stage and reacted quickly to the situation. Lawyers also claim Monroe Jr.'s alleged injuries were not "evidence of someone who was savagely beaten." In the end, Richard was suing for $22 million dollars for damages and punitive penalties, but due to no real evidence of the situation, received $440,000 for injuries. I would agree that Snoop's attorney made a great case in explaining how the artist felt that it was a self defense situation and he was only defending himself.
In late news, Lil Wayne is being sued for stealing the "How to Love" beat from rapper Rick Ross, who bought the owner rights of the instrumental from rapper and producers Drummer Boyz. In addition, Rick Ross is also suing Drummer Boyz for going behind his back and pitching the song to Lil Wayne. This lawsuit is based on who owns the rights to the beat whether it be a written or oral contract. Even if Rick Ross doesn't have a written contract for the sale of the master recordings, there's still a chance that he will prevail in this case. In my opinion I feel that it's best a producer remember to include a contract with everything being produced or sold. Therefore, when a situation like this arises, the producer has the proper resources to show who owns the intellectual property.