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Danish rapper reckons record industry nepotism may have stopped the release of his Tekashi 6ix9ine collaboration

By | Published on Tuesday 23 April 2019

Tekashi 6ix9ine

A Danish rapper called Sleiman is suing the incarcerated Tekashi 6ix9ine over an unreleased collaboration. It seems the latter’s US label is now blocking the release of their track, which Sleiman had hoped to put out with Universal Music Denmark. While it may or may not be relevant to the dispute, the lawsuit also hones in on the family connection between the independent label that signed 6ix9ine and the mega-major that is Universal.

According to the lawsuit, filed with a New York court and seen by Billboard, Sleiman paid 80,000 euros to one of 6ix9ine’s companies in order to set up the collaboration. In return for the cash, 6ix9ine recorded vocals for a Sleiman track, which the latter then planned to put out via a deal with Universal Music Denmark.

However, 6ix9ine is signed to 10K Projects, an LA-based indie founded by a certain Elliot Grainge back in 2016. It has seemingly intervened, arguing that its record contract with 6ix9ine includes the customary exclusivity clause, meaning only it has the automatic right to release the American rapper’s recordings. Any other releases need its approval.

That’s a pretty common clause in a record deal. Though Sleiman would presumably argue that – if 6ix9ine is in breach of his contract with 10K – that’s really a matter for 6ix9ine and his label. It shouldn’t affect Sleiman’s ability to release their collaboration, which is something his own contract with his collaborator seemingly allows.

Enter the family connection. Elliot, see, is the son of Universal big cheese Lucian Grainge. According to Billboard, Sleiman’s lawsuit states: “On information and belief, Universal Music Denmark is related to the Universal Music Group, whose chairman is the father of 10K’s owner. As a direct and proximate result of 10K contacting Universal Music Denmark, [it] did not proceed with entering into a recording agreement with Sleiman”.

The major may have been reluctant to release a record that’s already subject to a legal dispute anyway. Though the implication is that the fact the indie label involved in said dispute is run by the big boss’s son might have also swayed Universal’s Danish division.

It remains to be seen what the court makes of all this, though Sleiman is seeking judicial confirmation that 10K can’t block the release of his 6ix9ine collaboration and the return of that 80,000 euros he handed over to his collaborator.