A North Carolina judge has ordered Hip-Hop rapper Moneybagg Yo to pay a North Carolina promoter and the promoter’s company, Surge Productions, $3 million for violating an exclusivity clause.
The First Annual Friends & Family Summer Festival was scheduled for Saturday, July 31, 2021, at the Vance County Fairgrounds in Henderson, North Carolina, where Moneybagg Yo, whose real name is DeMario DeWayne White Jr., was set to perform.
According to a lawsuit filed by promoter Lawrence Floyd, Moneybagg Yo and his management double-booked a concert in Smithfield, North Carolina, that same day, which violated an exclusivity clause in his contract for the Henderson show and confused the potential audience.
Floyd’s attorney, Harry Lorello, said his client’s show was a “disaster” attendance-wise.
Superior Court Judge Mark Sternlicht ruled on June 20, 2022, saying that Floyd and his promotion company, Surge Productions, were entitled to $1 million in damages and $2 million because the double-booking violated North Carolina’s law regulating unfair trade practices.
Floyd is entitled to interest on those amounts, from November 2, 2021, on the $1 million and from June 20, 2021, on the additional $2 million, Judge Sternlicht said.
Floyd’s attorney Lorello and his publicist said that Moneybagg Yo never formally responded to the lawsuit after Floyd filed on November 2, 2021.
We were able to get him served, Lorello said, alleging that White received notice of the lawsuit. He was having a concert in Columbia, South Carolina, and we were able to have the sheriff’s department [there] serve him just as he was going on stage.
Judge Sternlicht said there was “no disputed issues of material fact and that [Floyd] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
According to Judge Sternlicht, Moneybagg Yo and an agent representing him signed a contract for the Henderson event that stipulated he wasn’t to perform anywhere else in a 70-mile radius of Henderson for 30 days before the show and two weeks after it.
Moneybagg Yo violated the contract when he booked another show 60.3 miles away at the Diamond District Lounge in Smithfield on the same date he was contracted to perform and only perform at The First Annual Friends & Family Summer Festival.
The Smithfield flyer and event website said Moneybagg Yo was set to perform also on Saturday, July 31, 2021.
Floyd asked Moneybagg Yo to cancel the Smithfield show, which Moneybagg Yo refused and threatened not to perform at Floyd’s show in Henderson. Moneybagg Yo and his crooked agent tried to threaten Floyd by demanding that he not sue Moneybagg Yo over the dispute, but Floyd did not allow the rapper and his agent to bully him and Floyd’s show went on as planned.
Moneybagg Yo and his associates promoted the Smithfield show without promoting the Henderson concert, undermining Floyd’s ticket sales.
Floyd’s publicist, Sherry Kelly, said Surge Productions, based out of Fayetteville, NC was able to sell 145 tickets in advance for the Henderson show and another 200 at the gate.
In an order filed with the Cumberland County Clerk’s Office on June 20, 2022, Judge Sternlicht said Moneybagg Yo’s booking, promoting, and performing at the Smithfield show “were intentional and done with the knowledge” that they violated his deal with Floyd.
The $1 million in damages represents “lost ticket sales and lost ticket revenue,” Sternlicht said in the order.
Lorello said he’s been in contact with Moneybagg Yo’s representatives, but “nothing has been filed with the courts” on Moneybagg Yo’s behalf.
Floyd has a “couple different avenues” for getting the money Moneybagg Yo owes him by attaching the lawsuit win claim to streaming or other revenue sources for Moneybagg Yo, according to Lorello, Floyd’s attorney.
Sometimes these agreements are done down in Florida, via lawyers there who see to it that it’s docketed and enforced there, Lorello said. Each state recognizes the validity of each other’s judgments, subject to certain exceptions of course.
Floyd and his promotion company, Surge Productions, paid Moneybagg Yo $70,000 for the Henderson show up front, and paid the rest he was owed when he performed, the judge said.
Sherry Kelly, Floyd’s publicist, said the rapper’s total fee was $125,000, in cash.
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