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Mobb Deep's Prodigy Sues UTA Over Botched Hustler Club Booking
Mobb Deep's Prodigy has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York against United Talent Agency over claims that the talent powerhouse failed to provide promised booking services for his live shows. According to the suit -- which seeks damages over claims of breach of contract, negligence and tortious interference -- the dispute stems from an April 15, 2015, booking secured by UTA agent Jesse Rosoff for a performance at the Larry Flynt Hustler Club.
In a copy of the suit obtained by Billboard, Prodigy (born Albert Johnson) claims he was advanced $1,250 of his $10,000 performance fee for a show that was "subsequently terminated by Rosoff," who had normally booked Mobb Deep around 50 dates a year. Two weeks after, Prodigy's lawyer sent Hustler and Rosoff a letter demanding the remaining $8,750 fee for the scratched show.
"Subsequent to the demand letter, Rosoff began pressuring Johnson to recant his demand for payment and agree not to pursue any claim against Hustler or his agent," reads the suit, which was filed in early February and became public record on Monday (April 4). Johnson claims the pressure to recant became "very persistent," leading to Rosoff telling Prodigy's lawyer that he would no longer represent Mobb Deep unless the letter was sent to Hustler and Rosoff waiving the rights to pursue any legal action over the booking.
In November, the suit claims Rosoff dropped Prodigy and Mobb Deep as clients, after not booking any shows for them from April 2015 until he terminated his agreement with them, with the group uncertain if it had received any offers for gigs during that time.
During that period, the group also claims it missed several recurring annual gigs. As a result, the suit is seeking a jury trial to decide seven claims tied to the dissolution of the booking agreement, which include: breach of contract, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, duty to act with skill and reasonable care, duty to act in principal's best interest, duty of good faith in dealing with principal or third party and tortious interference with an existing contract.
Prodigy's attorney, Corey Boddie, also told Billboard that the lawsuit is "based on a breach of a fiduciary duty by an agent and UTA and my client possibly losing shows due to the agency not soliciting work for Prodigy. It all hinges on an ultimatum UTA and Rosoff gave my client: don't sue Hustler or we will drop you as a client. My client complied, but UTA and Rosoff had every intention on dropping Prodigy and Mobb Deep, but didnt let them know until 6 months later. This cost my clients millions."
The suit is seeking payment of the $8,750, plus interest, per each claim in addition to attorney's fees and damages.
Billboard's request to Rosoff for comment was unreturned as of press time.