|The Lawsuit Against Uncle Louie
||[Jul. 30th, 2012|11:20 am]
This is a short timeline of events with screenshots of emails and Twitter interactions between me, Prince Markie Dee of the Fat Boys, and his manager Uncle Louie of the Uncle Louie Music Group.|
A full timeline of events (with quotes, but no screenshots) can be found here.
Uncle Louie posts an ad on Twitter asking if anyone wants to get Kool Rock Ski on a song to contact him. I contact him figuring I could never afford it. It turns out I could.
But I didn't have any ideas for a song until much later.
I send Uncle Louie a Direct Message on Twitter saying I was interested and asked what I got for my money. He replied saying I would get 16 lines from Prince Markie Dee. (Note: He initially asked me to keep the amount private, but he has since divulged it in a public tweet, so I can talk about it.)
The song wasn't ready, so I asked him if I could pay him at that time to lock in the rate and then have Mark record his verse when the song is ready. He replied:
That was our agreement. That is a written (if informal) agreement between me and the Uncle Louie Music Group. That is a legal contract. I pay Uncle Louie. Mark records the verse. End of agreement. And here is my PayPal receipt.
Note to whom the payment was sent. Uncle Louie LLC d/b/a Uncle Louie Music Group. I did not pay Prince Markie Dee. In fact up to this point I had had no interactions with Mark about this at all.
Getting It Done For My Album
I had plans to release my album on April 1, 2011 (which I did, and it went to #28 on the Hip Hop charts on iTunes that day). In order to get this song on the album I needed Mark's verse by March 18th. I sent him all the material for the song on February 24th, so he had about a month to do it.
On March 20th I received this email from Prince Markie Dee.
I told him to call a studio and get it done. I still wanted it to happen. He replied the next day saying he was calling a studio but I never heard from him after that. I released my album without the song on it. You can hear some samples and order a copy of my album here.
After that I sent Mark polite reminder emails every few weeks. Finally in August of 2011 I got a reply from Mark that he was scheduling studio time and promised me the verse by the end of the week. That didn't happen. I followed up with an email and got this reply:
The verse never arrived. Again I sent Mark polite reminder emails every few weeks but I never got another reply from him.
Finally for the sake of my sanity I had to impose a deadline. I emailed both Prince Markie Dee and Uncle Louie on March 19, 2012 saying I wanted the verse by the end of April or I would then ask for my money back. I got no reply from either party.
On April 30th, the due date, I emailed all of them saying that time was up and I wanted the file by the end of the day or I wanted my money back. Uncle Louie replied:
This reply really made me angry, but before I could reply to him I got this reply from Mark:
He never did. A week later I emailed both of them asking for my money back and got no reply. On May 16th, 2012 I emailed Uncle Louie politely asking for my money back and he deflected the request, saying my agreement was between me and Mark. This isn't true. See above. I told him my agreement was with him, not Mark, and got this reply:
Finally I emailed both Mark and Louie on June 1st politely asking for my money back one last time and got no reply.
I realized I was going to have to sue to get my money back. After confirming with a lawyer that I should sue the company with which I made the agreement I filed a claim in New Jersey's Small Claims Court for $500 against the Uncle Louie Music Group.
The day of the trial nobody from Uncle Louie showed up, but because the company is not based in New Jersey the judge wanted to hear my testimony about the case. I told him basically everything I just outlined above, showing him all the same documents I have here. He found this in his ruling:
1. I answered a national public advertisement for business from the Uncle Louie Music Group.
2. I had an agreement with Uncle Louie Music Group to pay for a verse from Prince Markie Dee.
3. I paid Uncle Louie Music Group $500 for the verse which was never delivered.
4. Uncle Louie Music Group is liable for the $500.
He ruled in my favor for $500, plus $22 in court filing fees.
To date Louie has not paid me for the judgement against him. On July 29th I outlined what happened on my monthly podcast The Insider just so my fans could hear the whole story. I tweeted about the episode and mentioned @PrinceMarkieDee and @UncleLouie so my fans would know who I was talking about and maybe one of them would step up and either give me the money or send me the verse. Even after all I've been through I'll still take the verse.
Instead, Louie tweeted these two replies, which I took as a threat:
He never finished that sentence, but he did go on to call me a racist. Under the Twitter profile of @theFatBoys, which he runs, he simply posted the word "Racist" with my Twitter handle. Many of his other accounts then retweeted this:
All of those tweets have since been taken down, but I have a record of them.
Since this happened, several of my friends and fans have come rallying to my aid, which I really appreciate. However, for the record, I did not start that and I am not encouraging it. I am posting this entry because I want to get the facts out there about what happened.
This has gone on far too long and I just want it to end. But it's not going to end until I either get the verse or I get my money back.
This breaks my heart, so, so much. :(
Wait... The Fat Boys and Eric B & Rakim called you RACIST? WTH!?!?!? Because you gave a man some money to be on your track and he took your money and didn't deliver? What the hell is RACIST about that? Devo Spice is the LAST person I'd call racist! These guys I listened to, bought their records, requested on radio, rocked in the club... REALLY sucks when those guys turn out to be real jerks and play the racist card!! Devo was so racist that he was a huge Fat Boys fan. SLAPPING FOREHEAD REPEATEDLY!
I have no proof, but I suspect that was Uncle Louie posting in those accounts. They all happened within minutes of each other.
IF that were the case, then The Fat Boys and Eric B & Rakim should drop him for slandering you in their names.
Threats are VERY uncalled for and the fact that this is over such a small monetary amount is RIDICULOUS on this guy's part. I wonder how much of his defensive actions are due to embarrassment.
Ah, "slander." Favored cry of the idiot. Remember, the truth is an absolute defense to slander.
Which, on the other hand, what he did might qualify as libel. (Since it's written.)
Actually, it's a gray area when talking about the Internet. It's not a piece of journalism, it's a public forum. It *could* be slander since the forum is more akin to public speech.
According to the attorney I consulted for an almost identical situation, what was posted was libelous and I had a case if I wanted it. It's possible Devo has one too, if Uncle Meat doesn't pull his finger out of his ass. Unbelievable - what happened to professionalism??
What the five flaming hells.
I hope you are able to get closure on this soon with either the money or the song verse.
Maybe this will somehow get new people to go to the FuMP site.
Have you filed with Paypal to get the money back?
Also, yeah...overall just shitty stuff.
No. Paypal only gives you 90 days to do that. I paid him over 2 years ago.
Although actually I should contact them. Because I have a judgement they may do something more.
Dude, you have the agreement in writing. Regardless of it being all digital, it's still a contract. The judge agreed, too.
I have no idea why race got brought into this: The only black and white in this case has to do with the color of the text on the screen and the printouts.
It's a shame that this person is pulling this bull... stunt in the names of his clients. I know if it were me, I'd find a new manager/promoter.
It's no mystery, really: whoever called Tom racist did so because they had no legitimate argument against him whatsoever, but still wanted to appear morally superior. They noticed Tom was white, and bob's your uncle. It's an insult not only to Tom, but to every victim of actual racism ever.
I'm sorry one of your favorite rappers and/or their representation betrayed you so deeply, Tom. You COULD probably sue them for libel or slander too, but I totally understand if you just want to resolve the issue ASAP.
This is someone who simply doesn't care about music, or about about how he conducts business. Have you heard from anyone else who took this deal from him, and got cheated?
No, but it's interesting you should say that. When Mark said he was going into the studio last August he tweeted that he was going in to record 4 projects. I assumed one of them was mine. That means there are at least 3 other people out there somewhere who in theory got verses from him. I'd love to know if they actually got theirs or not.
How disappointing. I liked them.