Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are suing Triller for $28 million, claiming the company has failed to deliver on payments after acquiring Verzuz.
The lawsuit obtained by The Washington Post alleges Triller began missing scheduled payments to the superstar music producers in January 2022.
Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, whose real names are Timothy Mosley and Kasseem Dean, created the streaming music series, which pits artists against each other in a rap battle format, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They sold the rights to Triller for an undisclosed sum in January 2021. But the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges the TikTok competitor owes the Verzuz creators millions in missed payments.
“To date, defendants have failed and refused to make any payment to Mosley and Dean of the past due sums due and owing, ” the suit says.
According to the lawsuit, Triller issued scheduled payments to Timbaland and Swizz Beatz in January 2021 and April 2021. However, the producers say they never received a large payment scheduled to go out in January of this year.
The suit says they worked out a new payment plan, and Triller made a payment in February. The company was then scheduled to pay another $18 million by March 17, plus $1 million more each month for the next 10 months. But the lawsuit alleges those payments were not made.
Triller immediately responded to the lawsuit in a statement to TMZ, saying Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have been paid as scheduled.
“This is not a feud over Verzuz, but simply about earn-out payments to Swizz and Tim. Swizz and Tim have personally been paid by Triller over $50 million in cash and stock to-date, and they stand to benefit even more over time. In addition, they have annual obligations, which if met, and no breach has occurred, entitles them to additional payments,” the statement said.
It continued, “Only one payment of $10 million is in question. We do not believe they have met the thresholds for that payment yet, which include, but are not limited to, delivery of a set number of Verzuz events for 2022. We have been trying to resolve this amicably and this does not affect Verzuz operations or Triller’s ownership of Verzuz. If this does proceed in court, we look forward to a judgment that weighs all the facts.”
Verzuz has been a huge hit, sometimes drawing over a million viewers to the live streams. Among the artists who have battled it out in the series are Brandy and Monica, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle, DMX and Snoop Dogg, and Omarion and Mario.