Donald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate, a member of popular ’90s R&B group Jodeci, is at the center of a complaint for breach of contract brought by Suburban Noize Records for $80,000. In the suit, filed Oct. 30 in Superior Court of California/County of Los Angeles, Suburban Noize states that DeGrate is in default on a series of payments executed in a prior settlement agreement.
According to the complaint, the situation dates back to 2010 when DeGrate signed an exclusive recording contract with Suburban Noize to produce a new album. Chief among the contract’s stipulations: DeGrate was not permitted to be a featured performer for any other person or project. In addition to receiving an advance from Suburban Noize, DeGrate would also receive royalties from the forthcoming album.
Suburban Noize goes on to note that DeGrate never delivered the said album but instead performed on Jodeci’s reunion album, The Past, The Present, The Future, released in March 2015. After threatening a breach of contract suit, Suburban Noize executed a settlement with DeGrate whereby the artist/producer would make a series of payments to the label, starting on Oct. 1, 2015. Having failed to make the Oct. 1 payment, Suburban Noize says it “simply seeks to recover the monies DeGrate has acknowledged he owes and agreed (but failed) to pay.”
The lawsuit further outlines that “if DeGrate failed to make timely payments to Suburban Noize, judgment would be entered against him in the amount of $80,000 (less any amount he had paid), plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs incurred in enforcing the judgment, plus statutory interest of 10 percent.”
Billboard has reached out to DeGrate for comment.