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Benjy Grinberg and Rostrum Records: Scammers? (2024)

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lawsuits

Lawsuits in the Music Business

Legal disputes in the music industry sometimes include musicians suing or being sued. This article focuses on Wiz Khalifa’s involvement in several lawsuits, including one from New York City artist Yury Merman.

Wiz Khalifa’s Legal Problems

Wiz Khalifa has been embroiled in several legal battles lately. Earlier this year, he filed lawsuits against Rostrum Records and Benjy Grinberg, his former manager. Furthermore, a lawsuit from fans was filed against Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg after an incident during their concert tour. Still, there’s an interesting case involving a less well-known lawsuit that artist Yury Merman filed in New York City against Wiz Khalifa.

Yury Merman’s Allegation

Yury Merman, an artist from New York City, says Wiz Khalifa owes him money for copyright violations. Merman says that Wiz stole his song for “iSay,” a Juicy J song off the “KHALIFA” album.

The History of Yury Merman

Yury Merman is a producer and musician who has experience in the music industry. He has a portfolio of musical compositions and copyrights.

The Procedure for Creating the Sample

September 2011, Merman bought an unusual song in French from the Apple Store. Then he created a unique tune for his song “La Plafond” by utilizing distortion and manipulation. With assistance from ID Labs and collaboration with audio engineer Big Jerm, he continued to work on the song.

Wiz Khalifa relationship

It is said that Wiz Khalifa, who frequently visits ID Labs, came into contact with the modified sample without Merman’s knowledge. The sample was reportedly requested by ID Labs, Big Jerm, and E Dan for Wiz Khalifa to use in his song “iSay.”

Unauthorized Use and Inadequate Credits

Merman claims that Wiz Khalifa used the ID Labs sample for “iSay” without contacting him first or giving Merman proper credit. The source of the sample was not disclosed to Merman.

Resolving Attempts

In October 2015, Merman reached out to Big Jerm via text message to assert his copyright rights. Big Jerm acknowledged Merman’s ownership of the song. Still, Merman says he hasn’t received payment for the unauthorized use of his material. The accused haven’t complied with his written demands, though.

Ignorance

Since ID Labs handled things behind his back, Merman was unaware that Wiz Khalifa had used the sample.

No specific damages are requested.

Yury Merman is suing Wiz Khalifa for allegedly violating his copyright, and he is requesting an undisclosed sum of money.

Sector Response

We were unable to obtain a response from Taylor Gang Entertainment or Atlantic Records, the entities connected to Wiz Khalifa.

Context: The Relationship Between Benjy Grinberg and Wiz Khalifa

2014 saw the well-known rapper Wiz Khalifa break up with his former manager Benjy Grinberg. The reason for this split was Wiz’s realization that not everyone in the music industry has an artist’s best interests in mind. This decision was a turning point in Wiz’s life and prompted him to sue his former managers in an attempt to break the 360 contracts they had agreed to. Although the 360 agreement included a clause requiring Wiz to contribute a portion of his earnings to cover this additional support, its main purpose was to provide Wiz with assistance in several areas that would fall outside the scope of a typical contract.

Understanding of the 360 Deal

An artist and label might enter into a unique type of contract known as a “360 deal,” which extends beyond typical music production and distribution agreements. With this kind of collaboration, the label agrees to assist the artist in many ways, such as songwriting, touring, and merchandise. In exchange for the additional services provided, the artist agrees to give the label a portion of their earnings. The label is able to split the artist’s several revenue streams because to this arrangement.

Wiz Khalifa’s grievances

When Wiz Khalifa signed the 360 deal with his label, Rostrum, they were his only representatives. But Wiz’s discontent increased when he discovered the agreement he had signed was not as clear-cut as he had assumed. He felt that he had signed a contract with his manager, Benjy Grinberg, which gave him substantial power over almost every aspect of his work life, without providing any details about other possible agreements. The lawsuit claims that the core of Wiz’s main complaint is Grinberg’s failure to disclose possible substitute agreements that might have been more in Wiz’s best interests.

Standing up for Wiz Khalifa in court

Attorney Alex Weingarten for Wiz Khalifa highlights the critical role that a personal manager plays in an artist’s career. He stresses that the artist’s most trusted advisor should be a management. In this case, the manager, Benjy Grinberg, chose to use commercial tactics that were not in Wiz’s best interests. Weingarten claims that these actions are what made Wiz and his manager lose trust in one another.

Requests and Fees

Wiz Khalifa is suing and seeking a substantial payment. He is requesting punitive damages over $1 million in addition to legal fees. Based on the allegation that Benjy Grinberg’s lack of transparency and poor management damaged Wiz’s career and reputation, these requests have been made.

Benjy Grinberg’s response

In reaction to the complaint, Benjy Grinberg says he is shocked and disappointed by Wiz Khalifa’s decision to break things up and sue him. The claim, according to Benjy Grinberg, is untrue and supports his actions. He makes a point of saying that he and his team have supported Wiz since the start of his career and portrays his actions as a regrettable development.

A Key Player in Independent Hip-Hop, Benjy Grinberg

Benjy Grinberg and Rostrum Records, his label, have had a significant impact on the indie hip-hop movement. Pittsburgh’s unique sound was brought to the attention of the general public by Benjy Grinberg, who has collaborated with artists such as DC the Don, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, and Mod Sun.

Mac Miller’s Tragic Death

Among the important incidents that affected Grinberg’s career was the untimely death of musician Mac Miller, who had collaborated with Rostrum Records. The inadvertent drug overdose that Mac Miller had in September 2018 had a profound effect on Grinberg. Following the tragedy, he struggled to return to his career and instead concentrated on ways to pay tribute to Miller.

The past and its effects

Rap music has always been a source of great joy for Grinberg, who was reared in Pittsburgh. Raised in Squirrel Hill, a mostly Jewish neighborhood, he first fell in love with rap music when he was a small child visiting Israel. His love for the genre was solidified when, at the age of 11, he saw a DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince show. Grinberg was motivated to pursue a career in the music business by his lifelong exposure to a wide range of cultural events.

Promotion in Career

Following his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, Benjy Grinberg entered the music industry. Before joining Arista Records, where he was supervised by A&R executive L.A. Reid, he worked for the live-streaming company Digital Club Network. Finally, in order to help and encourage gifted musicians, he founded Rostrum Records in Pittsburgh.

Rostrum Records Results

Rostrum Records brought in a lot of notice when Wiz Khalifa’s album “Rolling Papers” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 2011. Grinberg was instrumental in Khalifa’s career development since he signed him when he was still a young player. Besides, Grinberg’s Pittsburgh talent marketing strategy paid off when Mac Miller’s album “Blue Slide Park” enhanced the label’s reputation.

Court cases

Wiz Khalifa’s first complaint against Rostrum Records was scheduled for hearing by a Los Angeles judge on August 1. This hearing’s outcome may provide more clarity on the legal matter and the procedures that will be followed.

Overcoming A Disaster

The unexpected passing of rappers Mac Miller and Jimmy Wopo in 2018 deeply affected Benjy Grinberg. Following Miller’s passing, he struggled to deal with the loss and go back to work. Although he resumed his usual activities, he was conscious of the enduring consequences of Miller’s absence.

Rostrum’s Concerns

Rostrum Records and Grinberg contend in their cross-complaint that Khalifa owes them money for unpaid bills and that they will prove their assertions to be untrue. They make clear that they are dedicated to helping their artists succeed and that they hope to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

Charity Pursuits

Pittsburgh-area philanthropist Benjy Grinberg has made a name for himself. He supported Squirrel Hill’s Jewish Community Center as well as the Boys & Girls Club. He was personally affected by the 2018 Tree of Life shootings because of its closeness to his family, which led him to become involved in community initiatives.

Potential Futures

It is projected that Benjy Grinberg and Rostrum Records will carry on making a big contribution to the rap and hip-hop scenes, both domestically in Pittsburgh and abroad. Grinberg’s commitment to assisting musicians and putting out records aligns with his drive and objectives in the industry.

The Bottom Line

Wiz Khalifa and Rostrum Records’ legal battle demonstrates the difficulties that have arisen in artist-label partnerships in the music industry. In both cases, there are claims of unpaid bills, contract violations, and financial mismanagement. Following the submission of arguments by both sides, the lawsuit’s outcome will be determined by the court procedures.

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