Swizz Beatz and Timbaland Suing Triller For $28 Million ... Pay Up For Verzuz!!!

UPDATE

6:13 AM PT -- 8/17 -- A rep for Triller tells us, "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."

UPDATE

They continue, "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."

Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created a super popular rap battle show, and now they're doing legal battle with the company to which they sold their idea ... in the form of a $28 million lawsuit!

The big time music producers are suing Triller, claiming the video-sharing social networking service failed to pay up for the cash cow Swizz and Timbaland dreamed up -- Verzuz.

DECEMBER 2021
NO HARMONY
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According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Swizz and Timbaland agreed to sell Verzuz to Triller back in January 2021 … but they say Triller defaulted on the deal after only two payments.

SEPTEMBER 2021
IT'S IN THE BAG
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Swizz and Timbaland say they settled with Triller after the initial default, but they say Triller played the same game as before ... making one installment and then not paying up the remaining balance.

The music moguls are going after Triller for more than $28 million … plus interest.

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FRIENDLY BATTLE
Verzuz/Apple Music

We reached out to Triller ... so far no word back.

Originally Published -- 8/16 6:27 AM PT

A$AP ROCKY Alleged Victim A$AP Relli ... Thrilled Cops and D.A. Believed Him in Shooting Case

A$AP Rocky is in hot water after being charged with assault for a shooting in Hollywood ... and the alleged victim couldn't be happier.

Jamal Tooson, the attorney for A$AP Relli, tells TMZ ... his client feels vindicated the justice system worked for him, despite the stature of Rocky.

Tooson says Relli's life was shattered by the experience ... Relli says even though he wasn't hit by a bullet, he came within inches of death, and the experience has had a profound psychological impact on him.

The lawyer goes on to say Rocky is so powerful in Hollywood and specifically in the music industry, Relli, who is a music producer, felt he would not be believed and drummed out of the business. He believed if he pressed the case, people would just dismiss it as a money grab.

Relli says his faith in the justice system has been restored, because both the police and the D.A. believed him enough to file 2 serious felony charges against Rocky.

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Relli sued Rocky in civil court last week, claiming Rocky fired multiple shots at him with a semiautomatic firearm, resulting in injuries to his hand after being struck by bullet fragments that required medical attention. Relli's attorneys told us since the shooting he's been the victim of online harassment, including death threats.

Tooson says A$AP Rocky being charged with two counts of assault should provide peace of mind not just to A$AP Relli, but to the residents of Los Angeles County who have recently experienced terrifying situations involving gun violence.

Hit-Boy Named Madden ‘23 Soundtrack Head Picks Nas, Kendrick, Wiz & More!!!

Fresh off his contributions on The Game’s latest album, Hit-Boy has just taken on a new digital gig ... curating the musical sounds of the upcoming "Madden NFL 23."

The platinum-selling Grammy-winning producer announced the move Tuesday, expressing the passion gridiron Sundays gives him when creating music.

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Hit-Boy produced a jaw-dropping 33 beats for in-game play, while selecting the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Erica Banks, Cordae and his "King’s Disease" collaborator Nas for the soundtrack.

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Sources close to the situation tell TMZ Hip Hop the third installment of “King’s Disease” is being worked on as we speak, arguably making Hit-Boy the hardest working producer of 2022.

This year alone, Hit worked on Beyoncé's No. 1 “Renaissance” album, dropped his own “Corsa” single with Dom Kennedy, and gave The Game a template to diss Eminem for 10 minutes straight.

Is it too early to order his Producer of the Year award? Asking for the culture here…

Steve Lacy Kanye, Uzi & I Will Live Forever, On A Technicality … We’re Artists!

ARTISTS LIVE FOREVER
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R&B visionary Steve Lacy has a permanent reminder from the last time he hung with Kanye West -- a matching arm tattoo they got with Lil Uzi Vert.

The trio of Geminis inked arms with the phrase “We here forever technically” last week -- a slogan Steve told TMZ Hip Hop at LAX Tuesday, speaks to the longevity of their music -- even after they pass away.

Steve says he's excited reminiscing on last week’s ink-spilling moment … but tells us he’s not locked in the studio with Kanye whatsoever at the moment, he just enjoys being in his presence as their friendship continues to build.

Even without a scheduled collaboration, Steve has already earned Ye’s respect -- via a public praising of his latest album “Gemini Rights.”

Ye recently also tapped Steve to model for the new line of his Yeezy Gap sunglasses.

Rick Ross Company Hit w/ Huge Fines Labor Violations at Wingstop Locations

Rick Ross and his family are under fire in Mississippi for allegedly skimming money from the wages of their Wingstop workers -- and now they've been hit with fines.

The U.S. Department of Labor says they hit Boss Wings Enterprises LLC -- Rick Ross's company -- with a $114,427 fine for back wages and other penalties after the agency determined their franchises were violating labor laws.

Unclear what period of time this covers exactly, but the DOL claims that after an investigation into 5 locations -- all owned and operated by Boss Wings -- they found many of the employees were taking home less than $7.25/hour after factoring in all the deductions --  a big no-no under the minimum wage laws on the books.

The reason ... DOL alleges the owners of these specific franchises were forcing workers to pay for uniforms, basic safety training, background checks and cash register shortages.

The department also claims the bosses at these 5 restaurants were, in many instances, working their employees to the bone ... making them work overtime without properly compensating them and not keeping clean time records on hand.

Not just this, but DOL claims they found one instance when a 15-year-old employee worked past 10 PM several times in June 2021 -- which the agency claims ran afoul of a law prohibiting workers that young from working past 7 PM.

All in all, the DOL hit Boss Wings with $51,674 in back wages/damages for 244 workers -- and additional fines of nearly $63,000.

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A labor official says, "Restaurant industry employees work hard, often for low wages, and many depend on every dollar earned to make ends meet. The law prevents Boss Wing Enterprises LLC from shifting operating costs to workers by deducting the costs of uniforms, cash register shortages or training expenses, or to allow a worker’s pay to fall below the minimum wage rate."

Rick has been growing his Wingstop empire for years now, and even recently gifted his teenage daughter her own franchise. His sister, Tawanda, is listed as the registered agent of Boss Wings. We've reached out to her and Rick for comment ... so far, no word back.

Onyx Rapper Fredro Starr I Smoke Mad Weed In Russia... Brittney Griner Is Being Pawned!!!

Brittney Griner's plan to appeal her 9-year Russian prison sentence over a weed pen is underway ... but Onyx rapper Fredro Starr feels there are bigger political forces in play.

In a new interview clip from VladTV, Fredro actually admitted to smoking plenty of weed on Russian soil on several occasions!!!

According to Fredro's travels, Russia not only has better weed than top dog California, but they grow it too ... and from the picture he paints, recreational use sounds pretty common in the region.

He also suggests the country's hip hop scene is very liberal, alluding to the notion a 9-year punishment for a simple weed pen doesn't add up.

Griner officially filed her appeal on Monday, in conjunction with the United States government actively working for her release, calling her detainment unjust.

The last time we talked to Fredro, he was talking about a different kind of smoking ... as in torching Cypress Hill during their somewhat underpromoted Verzuz.

ONYX VS. EVERYBODY!!!
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Maybe they can collaborate with Russian rappers for a "420 Free BG" mixtape? It's just a toke ... we mean thought!

Black Thought Who’s Underrated?!? Legendary Rapper Downplays Claims, He's Slept On!!!

The Roots’ frontman Black Thought has been wowing audiences for decades with his raw rap style … without having the same solo recognition as his peers.

BT addressed notions he was an “underrated” talent during a recent interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music to promote his new joint album with Danger Mouse.

According to the Philly rapper, random opinions don’t really affect him, despite hearing the word “underrated” in all of his interviews.

BT says people whose perspectives are valued by him have always rated him properly, so that’s where he places his trust.

Black Thought and Danger Mouse dropped their "Cheat Codes" collaborative album last week with features from A$AP Rocky, Russ, Joey Bada$$ and even a posthumous contribution from MF DOOM.

BT has been releasing albums since the 90s and has been regularly starring on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" with The Roots for many years.

Calling him underrated feels like an overreach at this point.

Manti Te'o Jay-Z Inspired Me To Speak Out ... On Catfishing Hoax

Manti Te'o -- the college football superstar who fell for one of the most famous catfishing scams to date -- is opening up on his decision to go public with his side of the hoax ... saying attending a Jay-Z concert helped him come forward.

Remember, the former Notre Dame linebacker reportedly lost his grandma and girlfriend within hours of each other in 2012 ... except the entire romance was based on a lie.

As it turns out, Te'o didn't know his GF -- Lennay Kekua, a student at Stanford -- didn't actually exist ... despite previously stating he had met her in person (Te'o adamantly denies being involved in the hoax).

Manti -- who was eventually drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft -- is now speaking about the whole thing ... and says he was first inspired to go public with his story after attending a Jay-Z concert as a member of the New Orleans Saints in 2017.

"Cam Jordan with the Saints took a bunch of us teammates to a Jay-Z concert," Te'o said on "CBS Mornings."

"And at that concert, Jay-Z opens up with saying these words -- 'you cannot heal what you don't reveal.' And it may have been just some random words to everybody, but for me, at that time, it hit me like a ton of bricks."

"In order for me to kind of heal from this, I needed to reveal it."

Te'o said he vowed to share his side when the next opportunity came -- and in 2020, documentary director Tony Vainuku approached him.

What resulted was the "Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist" project, which just hit Netflix on Tuesday.

Now, Manti says he's happily married ... with one daughter, and a son on the way.

YG Nipsey’s Legacy Will Live On ... I’d Trade It All To Have Him Back!!!

PROPER HONOR
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Nipsey Hussle got a ton of love for what would've been his 37th birthday, an honorable gesture ... but YG wishes the rapper could've seen the honor for himself.

TMZ Hip Hop caught up with YG at Nip’s Hollywood Star unveiling, which also included the announcement of August 15 as Nipsey Hussle Day in Los Angeles.

The Compton rap superstar acknowledged the amount of love Nip received is more than warranted, considering he was a leader to so many he touched, but says he'd do anything to have Nip back on earth.

YG and Nip were thick as thieves on multiple levels. Together, they set positive examples within the Los Angeles gang culture while collaborating on several hip hop staples including "Last Time That I Checc’d" from Nip’s breakout "Victory Lap" album.

YG has kept The Marathon continuing in his own right since Nips’s death … having expanded his portfolio into his own fashion house and signing a joint venture deal with Epic Records and his own 4Hunnid Records to allow his artists Day Sulan and D3 to get solo shine.

These days, YG is having fun with the music -- and the videos these days.

Just look at his new "Toxic" video co-starring social media star and ex-PJ Washington flame Brittany Renner. The comical clip is just the latest in new music YG tells us is on the way.

Nip would be definitely proud of his friend.

A$AP Rocky Charged With Assault ... For Alleged Shooting

A$AP Rocky is now facing criminal charges for an alleged shooting in Hollywood, where he's accused of firing multiple shots at a former friend.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday his office has charged the rapper with two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

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ON THE SCENE
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Prosecutors say Rocky pointed a gun at a man during a heated discussion in Hollywood back in November ... and during a follow-up confrontation, Rocky pulled the trigger and fired two shots in the direction of the alleged victim.

Remember ... Rocky was arrested for the alleged shooting in April at LAX, where cops were waiting for him to get off his private jet with Rihanna.

Rocky is also being sued for assault and battery by former A$AP Mob member A$AP Relli, who says he is the alleged victim in the shooting. Relli says he was hit with bullet fragments and suffered injuries.

ROCKY SITUATION

Meanwhile, the LAPD is continuing to investigate the case.

Eminem Hits Studio with Snoop & Dr. Dre

Snoop Dogg recently hinted at reuniting in the studio with Dr. Dre, a myth-turned-moment thanks to Eminem’s latest social media post.

On Monday, Slim Shady dropped a photo of himself wedged between the two “G Thang” legends in the studio captioning the pic … “just a few bros.. hangin out.”

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The trio’s shared hip hop history ranges from the legendary Up In Smoke Tour to performing at this past Super Bowl and fans excitedly wondered what the session will produce … and if it’ll actually see the light of day.

Em’s been pretty active these few weeks … releasing the 2nd installment of his “Curtain Call” greatest hits, which featured a new collaboration with Snoop as well as some familiar gems.

Snoop has also been active … passing out Death Row chains to the likes of Jamie Foxx and producer Benny Blanco while teasing his latest work inside Dr. Dre’s office.

It's Dre who's actually due for a new batch of music. He released a collection of unreleased music for the "Grand Theft Auto" video game franchise in February but him being the constant in these studio sessions strongly suggests the music is going into his own solo project.

P.S. The Death Row albums still aren’t on streaming services … a void Snoop has been largely mum about all year.

Let’s hope whatever the team is cooking up, comes with the original menu items!

Playboi Carti Added To Rolling Loud NY ... He's Redefining Hip Hop Artists!!!

The upcoming Rolling Loud New York is poised to become that much more "lit" now that Playboi Carti is in the mix.

The King of the Vamps was added to the lineup on Tuesday — joining current headliners Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Future for the September 23-25 hip hop blowout at Citi Field.

Rolling Loud organizers tell TMZ Hip Hop they've "believed in Carti ever since 2015" ... years before his breakout self-titled mixtape dropped in (yeah, the one with "Magnolia.")

RL continues ... "Carti's redefining what it means to be a hip hop artist, so it’s only right for him to play a big part in our latest festival in hip hop’s hometown. We can’t wait to see what this future headliner has planned for the New York crowd.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Carti's fellow 2017 XXL Freshman, Ugly God proclaiming Carti released the last album amongst their peers with zero songs to skip ... his 2018 project "Die Lit."

Quite the glowing cosign in an era where rappers are typically stingy with the compliments for one another.

RL New York tickets are available now. If you're in the area, check out Mr. Rockstar Made yourself!!!

Saweetie Long Live Nipsey Hussle ... Make Memorial The World’s 8th Wonder!!!

MARATHON CONTINUES FOREVER
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Proud L.A. rapper Saweetie was on hand for the bittersweet moment where Nipsey Hussle posthumously received his Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame ... and thinks the honor should serve as one of the most important in the world.

Saweetie spoke with our TMZ Hip Hop team Tuesday at the ceremony, telling us before she actually got her own taste of big time music success, she worked as a Marathon model girl for Nip’s clothing line.

The grand ceremony to honor Nip served as a full-circle moment for Saweetie, calling the festivities “overwhelming” at times as she bottled her emotions.

On the bright side, she says Nip’s star -- in addition to his flagship Marathon store and now, his own day in the city of L.A. -- will attract positive tourism to California and the West Coast and in her mind, should qualify for the title of “8th Wonder in the World!!!”

The Icy Girl wasn’t the only rapper on hand for the ceremony, as Nipsey’s All Money In crew, Roddy Ricch and YG also turned out to celebrate the late Crenshaw rapper's life and accomplishments.

Saweetie’s been steadily working hard at finalizing her debut album … and today’s events could likely provide a jolt of inspiration.

Nipsey Hussle Honored with Star on Walk of Fame Lauren London, Family Speak At Ceremony

Nipsey Hussle’s birthday will now be known as Nipsey Hussle Day in Los Angeles for years to come ... an announcement made during the late rapper's Walk of Fame Ceremony.

REMEMBERING NIPSEY
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Nip was honored Monday with a star on Hollywood Boulevard, right outside the famed Amoeba Music store. During the ceremony, Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson announced from here on out August 15 would be a day to remember the rapper.

AMPLIFYING MOMENT
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Nipsey's partner, Lauren London, his sister, father, and grandmother all wished him a Happy Birthday from a podium during the ceremony to honor the L.A. native.

As for how Nipsey Day will be celebrated ... there will be Marathon events, much like the one planned at the upcoming opening of his flagship Marathon store.

WELL DESERVED HONOR

Fellow Compton-bred rappers YG, Roddy Ricch, NBA stars Russell Westbrook, Isiah Thomas and Nip’s All Money In artists all attended the ceremony.

Nip, a native of South L.A. was murdered in 2019, his killer, Eric Holder was recently found guilty of murder but is awaiting sentencing.

50 Cent I'm Cool With Floyd Mayweather Again ... Beef Squashed

Many men wish death upon 50 Cent, but Floyd Mayweather isn't one of them ... 'cause the rapper says they have officially squashed their longtime beef.

Remember, the two used to be really tight up until 2012 ... when Fiddy claimed TBE stiffed him out of $2 million used to kickstart his Money Team boxing promotion.

The feud went viral -- with Fif incessantly calling Mayweather out on social media, including a video challenging the boxing legend to read one page of a Harry Potter book on camera to prove he could read.

Despite the bad falling out, 50 says that's all water under the bridge now ... telling "The Breakfast Club" he made amends with Floyd at a comedy show in Vegas earlier this year.

50 says the two realized life is short and they have a ton of respect for each other's success ... and after he apologized, Floyd replied, "What took you so long?"

The make up was made official on social media on Sunday ... with 50 announcing Floyd would be attending his Tycoon Weekend comedy event.

"Yeah Champ said he gonna pull up on me for Tycoon so you know we gonna go crazy," 50 said on Instagram. "💰 Big bags coming out TMT."

R. Kelly Asks Judge To Ban Jurors Who've Seen 'Surviving R. Kelly' Doc From Trial

R. Kelly wants anyone who has seen the 'Surviving R. Kelly' docuseries to be banned as a potential juror in his trial ... saying there's no way they can give him a fair shot.

R. Kelly and his team filed a motion Monday to disqualify jurors who have seen any portion of the docuseries, as his 2nd federal trial begins in Chicago.

According to legal docs obtained by TMZ ... "any potential juror who has watched any portion of this docuseries must be disqualified for cause on whether they can be fair, too great a risk exists that such a juror would base their verdict on matters not introduced into evidence in the courtroom".

Kelly's facing charges of child porn and obstruction of justice ... and his alleged victim from his infamous 2008 case is expected to testify.

The docs state, "Any potential juror who has seen any portion of Surviving R. Kelly is prejudiced where there's no scenario which an individual exposed to the contents of Surviving R. Kelly can be impartial."

In other words ... his camp says there's absolutely no way anyone who has seen any parts of the doc can be fair, and they shouldn't be allowed to be jurors in the case.

His team claims there are episodes that talk specifically about his 2008 prosecution, in which he was acquitted ... and they say the docuseries also includes allegations that the government has said won’t be featured in this trial.

Jury selection is expected to begin Monday.

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