Timbaland and Swizz Beatz are suing Trill after the short video platform reportedly failed to pay $28 million to purchase their live music face-off series, Verzuz.
The music-producing couple allege that Trill has not made any of the required payments since January. According to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Los Angeles County Superior Court, Triller allegedly failed to pay Timbaland and Swizz Beatz in January and later agreed to a settlement that would require him to pay $18 million in March and $1 million a month. would pay for the next 10 months. But those payments probably did not go through either.
“Until now, defendants [Triller] failed and refused to make any payment to Mosley [Timbaland] and Dean [Swizz Beatz] of the arrears due and payable, and defendants default on their payment obligations under the agreement,” the filing said. The lawsuit was first indicated by The Washington Post.
Timbaland and Swizz created Verzuz in 2020 as a webcast that pits two artists and their music against each other. Trill has taken over the series last year, and as part of the deal, the duo joined Triller’s management team and also became shareholders of its parent company, Triller Network. According to BillboardTimbaland and Swizz Beatz distributed some of their equity stakes to 46 other artists who appeared on Verzuz, including Alicia Keys, T-Pain, Rick Ross and John Legend.
In an email to The edgeTriller claimed it paid Timbaland and Swizz Beatz “$50 million in cash and stock” and attempted to view the lawsuit as a personal dispute between the two musicians. The company went so far as to say that Timbaland and Swizz Beatz “are Triller’s biggest beneficiaries so far”. Triller declined to provide a named spokesperson in emails to: The edgebut an email signature indicated that the message had been sent by someone named Ryan.
Earlier this month, a report of The Washington Post revealed other missing payments from the TikTok rival, with Triller failing to deliver consistent monthly funds promised to Black makers it recruited. This has reportedly left some creators strapped for cash as they tried to meet Triller’s strict output targets. As noted by The mailother influencers who signed up for TrillerTV deals in February 2021, including Maverick Baker, have still not received payment from the platform.
Trill initially sent this statement from an unnamed spokesperson to: The edge:
This is really unfortunate and we hope it’s nothing more than a lawyer-driven misunderstanding. We don’t want to air our dirty laundry in the press, but we paid Swizz and Tim millions in cash and stock. No one has benefited so much from Trill so far. Triller has taken VERZUZ to new heights – making it the global cultural phenomenon it is today. We hope to resolve this amicably and quickly, and really hope it’s just a misunderstanding. When forced to defend it, we are more than optimistic that the truth and the facts are on our side.
After pressing Trill to attribute this statement to one of their spokespersons, we received an even longer statement from an entirely different email address:
This is not a feud about Verzuz in the first place. It’s personal to Swizz and Tim. Swizz and Tim are personally the biggest beneficiaries of Triller to date, having personally already received more than $50 million in cash and stock.
This is nothing more than a performance dispute over personal payments to Swizz and Tim. On top of the $50 million they have been given, they have annual obligations, which, if met and no breach has occurred, will allow them to make an annual payment. Only one $10 million payment was involved.
We do not believe they have met the payment thresholds, including, but not limited to, not disclosing obligations to labels, and we have tried to resolve this amicably. It is unfortunate that they have chosen to take this to the press and a “legal shakedown” and to claim further we now also owe them payment for one year from now. That has its own set of results, including, but not limited to, the delivery of a certain number of Verzuz by 2022. We hope these were just a little more than diligent lawyers jumping the gun.
Either this will be settled, or a legal body will weigh up the evidence and determine whether Swizz and Tim are entitled to what are in effect “earned performance payments”, whether or not they have performed and whether or not they have disclosed it properly. This does not affect Verzuz’s activities or Triller’s property of Verzuz. Swizz and Tim have not disclosed both trademark and label issues, which amount to well over $50 million dollars.
Our counterclaim will come and will be in excess of $50 million in damages for, among other things, false representations and warranties, failure to disclose label payments owed, and failure to disclose certain trademark issues, among others. looking forward to take up our case.
This message was also unsigned, but featured Ryan’s name in an email signature.