Timbaland and Swizz Beatz — whose real names are Timothy Mosley and Kaseem Daoud Dean — sued Triller on Tuesday for $28M, claiming that the digital media platform missed several payments after acquiring their live-streaming music series Verzuz.
The two producers sold the highly successful Verzuz to Triller in 2021, after almost a year of internet-breaking battles from superstar entertainers such as Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Teddy Riley, Young Jeezy, Brandy, Monica, Rick Ross, SWV, and many more.
According to the lawsuit, after Triller purchased the burgeoning battle series in January 2021, began to default on payments to Timbaland and Swizz Beatz a year later.. It also states that the company agreed to a settlement in February requiring them to “make a payment of $18,000,000 ($9,000,000 to each of Dean and Mosley) upon the earlier of (i) three business days following the closing of not less than $100,000,000.” The suit claims that Triller has not made any of the agreed upon payments as of now.
Verzuz rose to prominence during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many people were forced to stay inside, these carefully curated battles between their favorite artists became a hot topic across the internet; specifically on social media. It grew to garner millions of viewers during their Instagram broadcasts, eventually expanding its audience after inking a deal with Apple Music in 2020.
Prior to this latest lawsuit, Triller has been accused of not making payments to other entities. Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that hundreds of content creators of color alleged that the company did not pay them for their services on several occasions. Secondly, Universal Music Group claimed that Triller wasn’t paying artists after using their music, which subsequently led to the label pulling its music from the platform.
Triller chief executive Mahi de Silva denied the payment issues in a statement to The Post, stating, “We specifically take pride in our role in creating a platform that celebrates Black creator content. No other medium has done as much as Triller has for this often overlooked and underrepresented part of the creator economy.”