Recording group “Dru-Hill” was looking to make a come-back and got a “come-up” instead. Their label, Kedar Entertainment, who was responsible for the rise of artists such as D’Angelo and Erykah Badu, signed a deal with the group, back in 2009 for the release of two Dru-Hill albums and two solo albums by group member Sisqo who began to pursue his career as a solo artist at some point after the group formed. Dru-Hill did drop one album “InDRUpendence Day” in 2010 and Sisqo’s album “The Last Dragon” was released earlier this year, but neither of the albums did very well at putting Dru-Hill back on the map or money in their pockets. So naturally, the guys blamed the label and brought suit against it for breach of contract.
The complaint, which was filed in June of this year, alleged that Kedar fell short of their promise to invest at least $300,000 to market and promote the comeback albums. Dru-Hill also alleged that they never received any of their agreed upon advances at the outset of the projects. The group contends that Kedar’s failure to abide by the contract, caused them to lose out on concert bookings, publishing revenue and potential album sales. The artists claimed that they never received any royalties from the album sales. One might be interested to know if that’s because the label ripped them off or if the label didn’t make any money off the albums. I personally don’t remember the release of either album and I’m a Dru-Hill fan. But that does prove their point that the label didn’t use their resources to market and promote the albums.
At any rate, Dru-Hill won the case by default because their label altogether failed to respond to the complaint. Kedar’s unresponsiveness cost them $1 million and the release of the group from their recording agreement. My guess is the label wasn’t terribly concerned with the artists’ being released from the contract, as they couldn’t even be bothered to entertain them in court. The $1 million settlement is just a small victory for the artists, as now they have to actually get the label to pay them what was settled upon which is a case in and of itself. But they won and at least they are no longer under contract. Guess they really taught their label to “Never Make A Promise” that they can’t keep.
Lerae Funderburg, Esq. is the Managing Attorney at Funderburg Law, LLC, an Atlanta based entertainment law firm. Lerae has almost 10 years of experience in entertainment law in both music law and film law. As an entertainment lawyer and blogger, Lerae keeps her viewers and subscribers up to date with entertainment law news, especially in the areas of music, copyright law and trademark law. If you are local to Atlanta, call and set up a consultation! She would love to hear from you!