Megan Thee Stallion has updated her complaint against her record label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, seeking at least $1million in damages and asking a Texas court to end her contractual relationship with them.
In an amended complaint filed late last week, Megan – real name Megan Pete – asked a Harris County judge to rule that her new album ‘Traumazine’ and last year’s ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ both constitute “album[s]” as defined in her agreement with 1501.
If successful, it would mean the rapper would have “satisfied all option periods” in her 2018 contract with the label, releasing her from it. The amended complaint is the latest in Megan’s lengthy legal conflict with 1501, and is an elevation of a lawsuit the rapper filed against her label earlier this year.
In February, Megan filed a complaint in Harris County District Court, seeking a declaration that her 2021 release ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ constituted an album under the rapper’s contract with 1501 – something the label disagreed with following its release. The following month, the label countersued Megan, arguing that ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ was simply a compilation of previously released material.
According to Megan and her legal team, 1501’s only requirement for something to be considered an “album” in their contractual agreement with the rapper is that it is over 45 minutes in length. ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ – which includes previously released freestyles, her 2021 single ‘Thot Shit’, unreleased archival tracks, skits and more – has a total runtime of 45:02.
1501 pushed back, arguing that their contract with Megan gave them oversight over what constituted an “album” for contractual purposes, and that they’d told her ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ would not count. “She can’t just deliver us an album that we did not approve and then claim it satisfies her recording contract,” Steven M. Zager, an attorney for 1501, told Billboard back in February.
In their March countersuit, the label claimed Megan only appeared on 29 minutes of new recordings on ‘Something For Thee Hotties’. It claimed that the rapper’s contract dictates that “she must include at least 12 new master recordings of her studio performances of previously unreleased musical compositions” to be credited for an album under contract.
According to the label, ‘Something for Thee Hotties’ “plainly does not meet the requirements for an album” under their contract, arguing that it includes “freestyles available on YouTube and archival material from as far back as 2019”.
In her amended complaint, Megan argues that with ‘Traumazine’ and ‘Something For Thee Hotties’, she has completed her end of the deal, and is seeking to be released from what she describes as an “entirely one-sided” contract.
In her initial filing in February, the rapper did not seek any monetary compensation from the label. Now, however, she’s asking for a minimum of $1million in damages, alleging that the label is refusing to pay her shares of royalties.
Elsewhere in the new filing, Megan says she believes 1501 was likely the source of ‘Traumazine’ leaking early, on August 4 – a claim that the label has denied. They also argue that, despite Megan seeking compensation from 1501, the rapper owes the label “many millions” from ancillary activities such as touring, endorsements and merchandise.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Zager said: “I think at the end of the day, Megan owes 1501 [a] lot more money [than] she claims 1501 owes her.” Megan will appear for an in-person deposition in mid-October, with discovery in the case not scheduled to close until next year.
Megan’s amended complaint marks the latest in a series of disputes between the rapper and 1501 that stretches back as far as 2020. In March of that year, she claimed that the label was preventing her from releasing new music after she attempted to renegotiate parts of her contract.
At the time, Megan said she did not “understand some of the verbiage” of the agreement when she first signed it. She was granted a temporary restraining order against 1501, and released her ‘Suga’ EP just days later. In August 2021, Megan took the label to court again, claiming they were blocking the release of her remix of BTS‘ Butter’. The judge sided with her, and the track was released shortly after.
‘Traumazine’, the follow-up to Megan’s 2020 debut album, ‘Good News’, arrived on August 12 after being previewed with Dua Lipa collaboration ‘Sweetest Pie’, ‘Plan B’ and the Future-assisted ‘Pressurelicious’.
In a four-star review, NME said that ‘Traumazine’ demonstrated that “although Megan Thee Stallion is only just settling into her throne as one of hip-hop’s elite, she’ll clearly leave a lasting impression on rap music forever”.