Benjy Grinberg began managing Wiz Khalifa in 2004, when the rapper was 16.
Not long after, Grinberg signed Khalifa to a 360 deal with Grinberg's label Rostrum Records. The deal covered Wiz's income streams as a songwriter as well as touring and merchandising.
Wiz fired Grinberg as his manager in 2014. Now he's going to court to get out of his 360. He argues that he was "induced" into the signing with his manager's label, and that Grinberg's "self dealing" was improper.
“An artist’s most trusted advisor is his or her personal manager. Generally, nothing good comes out when the manager decides to go into business against his artist. Unfortunately, that is the case here,” said Alex Weingarten, Khalifa’s attorney at Venable LLP.Khalifa's lawyers believe Wiz can end the arrangement under California's "seven year" labor rule, which forbids personal service contracts of more than seven years.
Additionally, they are seeking compensatory damages of $1 million dollars, punitive damages and attorney’s fees from Grinberg.
"I'm very disappointed and surprised by today’s news," Grinberg said in a statement. "To witness an artist turn on you after supporting them for a number of years is very disheartening. This is an egregious lawsuit filled with inaccuracies, yet unfortunately people sometimes resort to these practices as a way of conducting business.”