Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are waging a legal battle with Triller over Verzuz.
The music moguls are suing the social-networking video app for $28 million, claiming it failed to pay them for their popular livestream battle series.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by Variety, Triller failed to make a large payment to Swizz and Timbaland in January 2022, resulting in a settlement that would require them to pay $18 million ($9 million each) by March 2022, with $1 million per month for the following 10 months.
However, Swizz and Timbaland claim that Triller has not made any of the promised payments.
“To date, Defendants have failed and refused to make any payment to [Swizz Beatz and Timbaland] of the past due sums due and owing,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. “The aforesaid defaults constitute material breaches of the Agreement by Defendants.”
The producers are now seeking $28,095,000 in damages, plus interest, as well as legal fees and “other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.”
Triller has responded to the suit, calling it a “misunderstanding.” “This is truly unfortunate and we hope it is nothing more than a misunderstanding driven by lawyers. We do not wish to air our dirty laundry in the press, but we have paid Swizz and Tim millions in cash and in stock,” the company told TMZ.
The statement continued, “No one has benefited as much from Triller to date. Triller has helped fuel Verzuz to new heights–making it the global cultural phenomenon it is today. We hope to resolve this amicably and quickly, and truly hope it’s just a misunderstanding. If we are forced to defend it, we are more than optimistic the truth and facts are on our side.”
Back in March 2021, Swizz and Timbaland announced that they had sold Verzuz to Triller for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, they were to become large shareholders in the Triller Network and serve as brand visionaries on the Triller Verzuz management team. The Verzuz co-creators also allocated a portion of their equity to the 43 performers who had appeared on Verzuz to date including Alicia Keys, John Legend, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and more.
“This is a momentous occasion not only for Verzuz and Triller but the music business as a whole,” Swizz and Timbaland said at the time. “To have partners in Triller who share our vision, specifically to celebrate and elevate the amazing artists who continue to shape culture around the world and give the consumer more direct access, is game changing.”
Verzuz launched in March of 2020 amid the cancelation of live events due to the pandemic. The platform has become a cultural phenomenon, featuring epic matchups with DMX and Snoop Dogg, Brandy and Monica, Gucci Mane and Jeezy, Ashanti and Keyshia Cole, and many more.