There was a time when Rostrum Records was one of the hottest indie labels. They charged into the industry with Wiz Khalifa and eventually Mac Miller, where both would end up becoming household names.
Good times fade away, though. Mac ended up leaving Rostrum in 2014 to enter a partnership with Warner Bros. Wiz was managed by Benjy Grinberg up until that same year, but even with this link dissolved, Wiz is still locked into a 360 deal that he hopes to get rid of now as he sues Grinberg and the label, according to Variety.
Khalifa’s connection to Grinberg and Rostrum dates back to 2004 when he was only 16-years-old. As someone young in the game and perhaps not savvy in the business, he signed a 360 deal that has been in effect over a decade now. It means that Rostrum is still getting a cut of everything Wiz does. Even when Wiz signed to Atlantic, Rostrum remained in the picture. Many artists ended up signing 360 deals back when those were all the rage in the mid to late 2000s. The idea of these deals are just now starting to wear off for many who have been able to make a career without the need for a label.
The lawsuit against Grinberg and Rostrum states that they took advantage of Khalifa. Going further, it even says that Grinberg withheld business opportunities for Khalifa that would’ve been beneficial to him. “An artist’s most trusted advisor is his or her personal manager,” said Khalifa’s attorney Alex Weingarten. “Generally, nothing good comes out when the manager decides to go into business against his artist. Unfortunately, that is the case here.”
When the suit went public on May 31, Grinberg also released a statement defending himself. “To witness an artist turn on you after supporting them for a number of years is very disheartening,” he said. “This is an egregious lawsuit filled with inaccuracies, yet unfortunately people sometimes resort to these practices as a way of conducting business.”
With this lawsuit, Wiz Khalifa hopes to get out of this deal with Rostrum Records as well as $1 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages and attorney fees.
“Wiz Khalifa and Rostrum Records Founder Benjy Grinberg announced today that all disputes between the two parties have been resolved following a joint settlement agreement. This agreement includes the dismissal of lawsuits that each party had previously filed against each other earlier this year. Both parties are pleased with the outcome and look forward to putting this matter behind them.”