Cardi B’s former manager, Klenord “Shaft” Raphael, is suing the rapper for $10 million, according to Variety. The site reports that a claim was filed in court on April 26 stating that Raphael, his label KSR and his management company, WorldStar Marketing Group, “demand judgment against Cardi B in an amount to be determined at trial, but not less than $10,000,000.”
The 25-year-old rapper was managed by Raphael since 2015 and he feels he played a pivotal role in catapulting her career. The manager believes that he discovered the former exotic dancer and is credited as a co-writer on her smash hit “Bodak Yellow.” He asserts that once Cardi attained megastardom, she froze him out of her career.
Last month, Cardi switched her management to Solid Foundation, the management sector of Quality Control. QC is the record label of the Migos, the group her fiancé, Offset, is signed to. The business is headed by Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas. In the complaint, Cardi, born Belcalis Almanzar, her publicist, Patientce Foster, Lee and Thomas are listed as defendants. Part of the suit reads, “That with actual knowledge of Cardi B’s exclusive management agreement with WorldStar, Defendants Foster, QC, Lee, and Thomas, without justification, intentionally interfered with that agreement, thereby depriving WorldStar of the substantial income, benefits, and advantages it was entitled to receive under that agreement.”
Some of the other alleged claims in the suit include: “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, declaratory judgment, and defamation against Cardi.” Raphael states that Cardi has told Offset and other members of her entourage that Shaft was “robbing” her. He also believes and alleges in his complaint the “Be Careful” singer was persuaded by her fiance to drop him as her manager.
Raphael explains why he feels he is entitled to a payout by the breakout star. A statement provided by one of his reps says: “Since discovering Cardi B in 2015, Shaft has played an integral role in developing her music career and public image. While he is proud of their successful collaborations as she evolved from Instagram influencer to music megastar, Shaft is disappointed by her actions to freeze him out of her career, which are detailed in the complaint. Shaft is confident that his lawsuit will validate his conduct and substantiate his legal claims.” He has presented old text messages to support his claim that he put into motion Cardi’s business with VH1 as a cast member of Love & Hip Hop New York and also helped her get her record label and publishing deals.
The star says she will continue working but has stopped performing for the remainder of her pregnancy.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.