Timbaland and Swizz Beats have filed a $28 million lawsuit against the social media app rollsalleging that the company has missed numerous payments to both producers since Triller acquired their rap fight show Verzuz Last year.
In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, Swizz and Timbaland – whose real names are Kaseem Daoud Dean and Timothy Mosley – allege they have been trying to make the rest of their income from sales since the start of 2022. . With the delay acquisition, Triller “has unequivocally and unconditionally warranted to Mosley and Dean the payment and performance of Triller Hold’s obligations under this and related agreements,” the suit states. At the time of purchase, neither Dean and Mosley nor Triller disclosed the value of the acquisition. It’s unclear how much Triller has already paid the two Verzuz founders.
Representatives for Dean and Mosley declined rolling stonerequest for comment.
Dean and Mosley created Verzuz at the start of the pandemic, where its popularity skyrocketed as artists and fans alike attended the show while stuck at home during quarantine. It quickly grew from occasional rap battles on Instagram Live to a full-fledged media company airing higher quality productions, drawing millions of viewers and airing special programming for the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl. At its peak, an appearance on Verzuz could boost an artist’s streams by up to 250%, like rolling stone Previously reported.
Verzuz made a deal with Apple in 2020, and in 2021 Triller, looking for content to compete with TikTok, bought the show. As the lawsuit alleges, under their original deal, Triller, which formally completed the purchase of Verzuz on January 21, 2021, was to pay Dean and Mosley both shortly after the deal and the first and second anniversary of purchase. Triller paid the duo in January and April 2021, according to the suit, but on January 28, 2022, the company allegedly defaulted on its next required payment.
According to the lawsuit, in February, Triller and Mosley and Dean entered into a new payment settlement agreement, and Triller made its first payment in that new agreement. Under the deal, Triller was seeking $100 million before paying producers. Under the new deal, following that February payment, Triller was to pay the duo $18 million by March 17, then $1 million per month for the next 10 months until all $28 million has been paid. The lawsuit alleges that Triller missed all of those payments.
For Triller, the lawsuit is just the latest controversy in a growing list of allegations that the company is improperly paying for content on its platform. Last week the Washington Post published a detailed report detailing claims by dozens of black content creators that Triller lured them onto TikTok’s service promising a lucrative business opportunity, only to have Triller pay them inconsistently.
These creators, according to the Job, now face heavy debts and threats of eviction from their apartments. And last year, Universal Music Group took his music from Triller, alleging that the company does not pay artists after using their music. (In May 2021, the two companies entered into a new licensing agreement for UMG’s music on Triller.)
In a statement to Job Regarding the Creators Program, Triller CEO Mahi de Silva said that the company “has met its financial commitments to the creators of this program and will continue to do so. We are especially proud of our role in creating a platform that celebrates content from black creators,” he told the newspaper. “No other medium has done as much as Triller for this often overlooked and underrepresented part of the creator economy.”
Triller issued a statement to rolling stonenoting that the company hopes to “resolve this amicably and quickly” and that Triller is “more than optimistic the truth and facts are on our side.”
“It’s really unfortunate and we hope it’s nothing more than a misunderstanding caused by lawyers,” the company said. “We don’t want to air our dirty laundry in the press, but we’ve paid Swizz and Tim millions in cash and stock. No one has taken advantage of Triller so far.