Tekashi 6ix9ine Sued By Danish Rapper Sleiman Over Unreleased Track

Tekashi 6ix9ine
Michael Campanella/Redferns

Tekashi 6ix9ine performs in concert at Hovet on Sept. 19, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Danish rapper Sleiman is bringing the imprisoned Tekashi 6ix9ine to court for allegedly preventing the release of their collaboration “Red Bandnna [sic] / Black Hoodie.”

In a complaint filed in a New York district court on April 18 and obtained by Billboard, Sleiman asserts that his Apache Music paid Tekashi69 Publishing a total of €80,000 (or close to $100,000) in September 2018. In exchange, the rapper née Daniel Hernandez recorded vocals for the track, and Sleiman made an effort to release it with Universal Music Denmark.

At that point, the complaint reads, 6ix9ine's label 10K Projects declared that its exclusive recording contract with the rapper meant that any release would require its approval. The label also threatened legal action if Sleiman were to self-release the song without clearance.

Apparently, that approval hasn't been given -- and Sleiman is now suing for the rights to release the track, and damages including an €80,000 refund.

"Plaintiffs are entitled to a judgment declaring that, pursuant to the Agreement, Plaintiffs have the right to exploit the Song, including the use of Mr. Hernandez’s name in connection therewith, without first obtaining 10k’s permission, approval, consent or 'clearance,' and without owing compensation to 10k, and that Plaintiffs are the lawful copyright claimants for the Song," the court documents read.

In the complaint, Sleiman also notes that 10K Projects is run by founder and CEO Elliot Grainge, the son of Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge, and seems to insinuate that the connection had something to do with his song being blocked. "On information and belief, Universal Music Denmark is related to the Universal Music Group, whose chairman is the father of 10K’s owner," the document reads. "As a direct and proximate result of 10K contacting Universal Music Denmark, Universal Music Denmark did not proceed with entering into a recording agreement with Sleiman."

Sleiman's attorney Richard Roth of Roth Law Firm provided further comment to Billboard over email.

“It is shocking,” he said, “whenever someone wrongfully, surreptitiously and brazenly steals the work of another to use it as his own. The copyright laws of the United States are designed to protect the creator of works and not allow someone to waltz in and engage in such allegedly nefarious conduct. We intend on proving that is precisely what happened here and that such conduct was willful, which will allow Sleiman not only the proper credit for the work, but all monies to which he is entitled, including legal fees.”

The complaint names 6ix9ine's S.C.U.M Gang Inc. and Tekashi69 Publishing as defendants, along with 10K. Meanwhile, 6ix9ine was arrested for criminal racketeering and other charges in November.

Sam Madden of Romano Law, which is also representing Sleiman, added the following statement: "Last year, [Sleiman] was offered what he thought was a dream opportunity to collaborate with 6ix9ine. He paid good money to do so, and he entered into an agreement indicating the rights to 6ix9ine’s contributions to the song were granted free and clear.

"6ix9ine’s record label has since seemed to assert the position that an alleged agreement between them and 6ix9ine has bearing on our client, and his ability to release the song," the statement continues. "Our client is further out a substantial sum of money. Sitting on a finished song he paid for and has been told by third parties he cannot release, he has been left with no choice but to seek judicial intervention."

Representatives for 6ix9ine did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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