Megan Thee Stallion and her former record label 1501 Certified Entertainment have settled their yearslong legal dispute, attorneys for the label announced on Thursday. The settlement comes a week after Megan announced on Instagram that her next album would be a self-released project.
“Megan Thee Stallion and 1501 Certified Entertainment are pleased to announce that they have mutually reached a confidential settlement to resolve their legal differences. As part of the arrangement, both parties have agreed to amicably part ways,” a rep for the label said in a statement. “Both Megan and 1501 are pleased to put this matter behind them and move forward with the next chapter of their respective businesses. All of us at 1501 wish Megan the very best in her life and career.” Details of the settlement were not immediately available. (A rep for Meg didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.)
The label, founded by retired MLB All-Star Carl Crawford, signed the rapper, whose real name is Megan Pete, in 2018, and she remains the label’s most successful artist. Other performers signed to 1501 include Baby Joker, D-Raww, and Erica Banks, who gained prominence in 2021 after her single “Buss It” inspired the viral “Buss It challenge” on TikTok.
As Crawford himself said in a statement: “All of us at 1501 wish Megan the very best in her life and career.”
Pete first took legal action against 1501 in 2020 amid her rapid ascent into rap superstardom, claiming at the time that the contract she signed with 1501 as a 20-year-old with little industry experience was “not only entirely unconscionable, but ridiculously so,” and that she’d only learn the nature of her uneven contract after she signed with Roc Nation and had proper representation for the first time. The deal she signed gave 1501 a 60 percent cut of her recording revenue along with 30 percent of her touring and merchandise income.
Pete filed a temporary restraining order from the label in 2020, stating in a declaration that Crawford and Houston music industry fixture J. Prince were attempting to intimidate her on social media and suggesting that 1501 went as far as to leak a previously unpublished mugshot of her from a 2015 arrest. (Pete wasn’t convicted and explained on Instagram that she got into a fight with her then-boyfriend after she found out he was cheating on her.)
Pete further alleged that the label was blocking her from releasing her 2020 album Suga. “It goes without saying that the damage that these actions have and will cause is unquantifiable and irreparable,” Pete wrote in 2020. “The constant barrage of negative social media posts by my own record label, or those associated with them, are tarnishing my reputation and causing irreparable harm.”
1501 denied all of Pete’s allegations, including claims that they were blocking the music and maintained that the deal was fair and standard for an unproven artist.
“It’s a great contract for a first-timer,” Crawford told Billboard in 2020. “What contract gives parts of their masters and 40 percent royalties and all that kind of stuff? Ask Jay-Z to pull one of his artists’ first contracts, and let’s compare it to what Megan got … I guarantee they won’t ever show you that.”
By 2021, she’d again accuse the label of barring her from releasing music, a remix of BTS’ hit song “Butter.” Again, the court sided with Pete, and her feature came out.
That suit settled, but Pete would file another lawsuit in 2022, claiming that 1501 refused to classify her album Something for the Hotties as an album, thus preventing her from fulfilling her contractual agreement for the number of albums she was to fulfill. The label countersued, claiming that the album only contained 29 minutes of new recordings, and further alleged that Pete “has repeatedly breached her contracts.”
By August, Pete further escalated the battle, asking the court to grant her $1 million in damages from 1501 and claiming that her 2022 album, Traumazine, fulfilled her contractual agreement with the label. By December, she took an early victory when the court denied 1501’s pre-trial request to declare Something for the Hotties less than an album.
This past April, Pete further alleged that 1501 was draining its accounts so the label wouldn’t have to pay her, according to court filings.
Last week, she told fans on Instagram that she was funding her album on her own. “This part of my album is definitely very much funded by Megan Thee Stallion because we’re trying to get off … Y’all know what’s the tea. But I have no label right now,” Megan said. “We’re doing everything funded straight out of Megan Thee Stallion’s pockets. The budget is coming from me. Motherfucking Hot Girl Productions! The next shit y’all about to see is all straight from Megan Thee Stallion’s brain, Megan Thee Stallion’s wallet. We in my pockets, hotties, so let’s do our big one.”
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