It’s about to be a bit of a hard-knock life for ailing The Weinstein Company, with Jay-Z and Eminem now going after the once muscular outlet. In filings late last week in TWC’s bankruptcy proceedings, the hip-hop superstars claim they are owed around $800,000 plus some of the rights for projects they had with the company.
“The Music Parties respectfully request that the Court order that the Debtors cannot transfer rights to the Music Party Repertoire unless the Debtors assume and assign the Agreement and pay the cure amounts, or the Successful Bidder includes the License Fees and Approved Expenses as Assumed Liabilities and pays them at closing,” says the filing (read it here) from the 8 Mile star, his Shady Records and Interscope Records regarding songs used in 2015’s film Southpaw.
Fresh off his double-shot Coachella appearance last month and referring a series of attached emails to TWC music exec Richard Glasser on the matter as recently as January 18, Marshall Mathers III alleges that TWC is in hock to him for $352,000. The dough is owed for license fees for the songs “Phenomenal,” “Phenomenal 2” and “Kings Never Die” from the boxing drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Antoine Fuqua.
Claiming that just $48,000 has been paid, Eminem’s lawyers could have thrown a high-profile spanner in the works of any potential sale by asserting that “to date, no licenses have been granted to TWC or Producer to Exploit the Music Party Repertoire embodied in the Southpaw film, trailer(s), and/or any other related assets.”
Which means, in further legalese, “neither the Debtors nor the Successful Bidder have the Licenses or any other right to Exploit the Music Party Repertoire, or to transfer those rights to others, for several reasons.” Translated, TWC “cannot transfer rights they do not own” of Oscar winner Eminem’s Southpaw tunes, which puts a lock on at least one asset in any sale of the company co-founded by Harvey Weinstein.
As the likes of Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Aniston, Lionsgate and more have lined up to stake their claims in TWC’s Chapter 11, longtime Weinstein collaborator Jay-Z is also claiming in court he is due at least $480,000.
Asserting in his own filing in federal court that TWC’s books require further investigation, the Tidal founder says the company needs to pony up two payments of $240,000 to his accounts. According to Jay-Z, the money is owed for the 2017 docuseries Time: The Kalief Browder Story and for the upcoming Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.
Never mentioning the Jay-Z EP’d Rest In Power, which is set to air on Paramount Network this summer, TWC has said in filings it doesn’t own Jay-Z anything for Time.