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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rap Star Chingy SUED!

Rap Star Chingy SUED!
The owner of a St. Louis-based record label has sued Chingy, claiming that the “Right Thurr” rapper reneged on a contract in 2002 so he could join Ludacris’ startup label, Disturbing Tha Peace.

Ronald Gavin is asking for $250,000 in damages and at least $25,000 for legal fees.

According to the lawsuit, Chingy (whose real name is Howard Bailey) signed an exclusive deal with Gavin’s 49 Productions Inc. in 1999 when he was still pretty much unknown and rapping under the name H. Thugzy.

Gavin claims that he spent more than $100,000 on Chingy's image and career over the course of three years, scoring him performance dates and radio play. His suit states that he produced one album for the rapper and was working on another when his client inked a deal with the production duo known as Trak Starz, who in turn promised to hook him up with the Atlanta-based Ludacris.

Chingy, who is often referred to as a protégé of Ludacris (born Christopher Bridges), released his 2003 debut album Jackpot on the Disturbing Tha Peace label, with Capitol Records handling the distribution. (Now most of the artists on Disturbing Tha Peace are distributed by Def Jam.) Jackpot, boosted by the hit singles "Right Thurr" and "Holidae In," sold more than 2.8 million copies.

Gavin stated that Trak Starz--producers Alonzo "Zo" Lee Jr. and Shamar "Sham" Daugherty--knew about his prior arrangement with Chingy.

Mark Goodman, Gavin's attorney, called Trak Starz' move to sign his client's client "a flagrant interference."

Lee, Daugherty and Chingy's promoter at Capitol Records couldn't be reached by the Associated Press for comment.

Chingy left Disturbin' Tha Peace over a royalties dispute after he made Jackpot and released his next platinum album, 2004's Powerballin', on Capitol. The rapper appeared as himself in Scary Movie 4 earlier this year and his latest effort, Hoodstar, is due out Sept. 12.

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