Rapper 50 Cent is laying claim to former protégé Young Buck’s compositions and recordings, threatening plans to sell those assets in the latter’s bankruptcy.
Attorneys representing 50 Cent and his G-Unit Records say a recent motion to sell Young Buck’s intellectual property in a bid to pay his creditors, which we previously covered, doesn’t disclose the specific assets up for grabs.
That’s a problem for 50 Cent, who signed Young Buck to his label in 2004, who says their still-standing recording agreement covers just about all of the IP. As a result, the rapper behind such hits as “In Da Club” and “Candy Shop” is asking a bankruptcy judge to block the sale until they can work out just what Young Buck is—and isn’t—allowed to sell.
“The creditors are left with no choice but to file this opposition to ensure that the trustee is not seeking to adversely affect the creditors’ rights in assets that they own, or in which they have rights and interests,” 50 Cent’s attorneys wrote in court papers filed last week.
Young Buck, whose real name is David Darnell Brown, remains tied to G-Unit Records but hasn’t recorded for the label for a few years because of a feud with Curtis Jackson (50 Cent’s real name). Buck recently told BET he was open to a G-Unit reunion, but a bankruptcy-court dispute with the label could prevent that.
According to 50 Cent, his label owns 100% of all rights of recordings Young Buck did for G-Unit and has the exclusive right “to distribute, reproduce, and authorize adaptations and all performances in whatever form.” Attorneys say that includes Young Buck’s 2010 studio album, “The Rehab,” and any recordings released since, even the songs released independently of G-Unit.
But that’s not all, 50 says. Young Buck also granted G-Unit rights to use of his professional name, trademarks, portraits, logos and likeness, including “a perpetual and exclusive publicity right” to use his past or current recordings o promote records. G-Unit also says it alone can create and host Young Buck’s official website. And an exclusive song-publishing agreement with Universal Music (which filed its own objection) and 50 Cent grants them the exclusive right to administer and publish Young Buck’s songs.
“Thus, all compositions created by the debtor have already been irrevocably conveyed to Jackson (and Universal), and G-Unit retains irrevocable rights of ‘every kind and nature,’ including to rights to royalties, copyrights, to renew/extend copyrights and to causes of action,” attorneys wrote.
But they did throw Young Buck, as well as the bankruptcy trustee overseeing his case, a bone.
“To the extent that the debtor has a share in some of the royalties under the publishing agreement, presumably those assets could be sold,” attorneys said.
Court papers show the matter will be put before a bankruptcy judge next month at a hearing in Nashville, Tenn.
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