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When relationships between artists and their record labels grow sour, it is rare that the conflict is easily and quickly resolved, and the developing case of Megan Thee Stallion and 1501 Certified Entertainment is yet another poignant reminder of that.
From claims that her label was blocking the release of her music to more recent back-and-forths on Twitter, Megan has consistently been vocal about her label woes over the years, and in response, 1501 CEO and former MLB All-Star Carl Crawford has also made plenty of public statements in defense of his label’s practices. As a result, there has been a superfluous amount of new updates, court developments, interviews, social media back-and-forths, and news coverage surrounding this ongoing issue over the last two years.
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Thus, to help ease one’s understanding of the tense dispute between Megan Thee Stallion and 1501 Certified Entertainment, the most important moments and stages in their calamitous working relationship have been highlighted below, from Meg’s come-up in Houston during the late 2010s to Meg and Crawford’s intense Twitter war earlier this past month.
Here is the complete timeline of Megan Thee Stallion’s relationship with Carl Crawford and 1501 Certified Entertainment.
Megan Thee Stallion started making noise as a rising female artist from Houston with the independently-released projects Ritch Ratchet (2016), Megan Mix (2017), and Make It Hot (2017).
Megan Thee Stallion signed with 1501 Certified Entertainment. According to Pitchfork, Carl Crawford claims that he was not involved in the drafting of Megan’s record deal, arguing that Megan’s mother Holly “Holly-Wood” Thomas and renowned Houston music industry veteran T. Farris were.
On February 9, Megan Thee Stallion appeared alongside former 1501 artists Yung Ruler, Bravo, and Railey Rose as guests of T. Farris during an interview with Brian “B High” Hightower for Atlanta radio station Hot 107.9.
On February 15, the rising Houston native officially debuted on 1501 Certified Ent. with the release of her first Tina Snow single, “Cocky AF.”
Megan Thee Stallion unleashed her first project on 1501, Tina Snow. The 10-track and Pimp C-inspired project was categorized as an EP. Tina Snow, which housed her breakout hit single “Big Ole Freak,” peaked at #166 on the Billboard 200. The runtime of Tina Snow was approximately 30 minutes.
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Megan Thee Stallion announced her official signing with 300 Entertainment. By joining Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles’ (at-the-time) independent record label, Meg reportedly made history by becoming the first female rapper to land a deal with the imprint.
Megan The Stallion’s mother passed away. Holly “Holly-Wood” Thomas served also served as Megan’s manager prior to her passing.
In the wake of the massive success of “Big Ole Freak,” the sensational Houston femcee followed up Tina Snow with Fever, which was jointly released on 1501 Certified Entertainment and 300 Entertainment. The 14-track project sported a runtime of approximately 40 minutes, and it was classified as Meg’s debut commercial mixtape. Debuting at #10 on the Billboard 200, Fever essentially served as Megan Thee Stallion’s breakout project, and it featured Meg’s next major hit single, the DaBaby-assisted “Cash Shit.”
Megan Thee Stallion announced that she had worked out a management deal with Roc Nation, and according to Pitchfork, her longtime business associate T. Farris had also been hired as her road manager. On the same day as the Fever artist’s announcement, Crawford linked up with Houston legend J. Prince, and the latter shared a photo of them on Instagram along with the caption, “The music business is a business filled with sharks and cut throat people…and I’m proud to be his new partner moving forward. Surprise to all that had plans on taking something from him, good luck with that. This is just the beginning.”
Carl Crawford revealed that he was not aware of Megan Thee Stallion’s new management deal with Roc Nation when meeting with J. Prince in September. At the time of his interview with Dirty Glove Bastard, Crawford also claimed that he and Megan were not speaking. “It just is what it is,” he said during the interview. “They upset about whatever they upset about. I’m just trying to keep the motion and make sure that business goes well…I think I might have said something on social media that irritated them, but at that point, I was past irritated.”
Following the release of early 2020 singles “B.I.T.C.H.” and “Captain Hook,” Megan Thee Stallion publicly addressed 1501 Certified Entertainment for the first time on Twitter and Instagram Live on March 1, 2020, causing hashtags like #FREEMEG and #FREETHEESTALLION to start trending. According to Meg, the riff between her and 1501 originated after she requested an opportunity to renegotiate her contract, which she claims resulted in 1501 refusing to allow her to release new music.
During her Instagram Live session, she told her fans, “It’s real sad. People be like, ‘Oh, you should be doing this! You should be doing that!’ I’m signed to an independent label. I’m not signed to them big ass labels them other artists be signed to. And they get pushes, they get placements, the do all kind of shit. So anything you see me do, it’s cause I woke up and did it that day.”
Complex reported on the news in 2020 and revealed that an unnamed “source close to the situation” informed the outlet that March 6 was originally slated to be the release date of Megan Thee Stallion’s debut studio album. However, in January, 1501’s attorney allegedly notified Megan and 300 Entertainment that the creation of the album was mandated to stop immediately because it was “in direct contravention of 1501’s contractual rights.”
On March 2, 2022, Thee Stallion officially filed her first lawsuit against 1501 Certified Entertainment, in which she claimed that her label was barring her from releasing music and failing to provide a proper accounting of her earnings. Furthermore, Megan alleged that 1501 had only paid her $15,000 since her signing in 2018, which she argued was a breach of contract. Due to the other alleged wrongdoings highlighted in the lawsuit — from fraud to negligent misrepresentation — Megan requested that the courts terminate her contract with her label and award her $1M in damages.
Crawford vehemently denied Megan’s allegations during an exclusive interview with Billboard on March 3, in which he said, “Their real plan was to get [Megan Thee Stallion] out of my contract so they can sign [her] to Roc Nation…How she been paid $15,000? As soon as we signed to 300, I wrote her a check for $50,000, and it’s signed with her name on the check.” Crawford also alleged that after Megan connected with Roc Nation, she started withholding money that was owed to him from shows in an effort to build leverage and renegotiate her contract.
Despite Crawford and 1501’s attempts to combat Megan’s shocking new litigation, she was swiftly granted a temporary restraining order during a preliminary hearing that allowed her to release music without any interference from 1501. Her early court win subsequently led to the release of Suga on March 6. The nine-track project had a runtime of approximately 25 minutes and was classified as an EP, and it was released via 1501 and 300. It spawned the original, Beyoncé-less version “Savage,” and it peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200.
Due to Megan Thee Stallion’s lawsuit filing, details of her recording contract with 1501 became public knowledge. One of the most surprising reveals from her contract was that her recording profits are reportedly split 60-40, with Megan receiving 40%. According to lawyers quoted in DJBooth and Pitchfork, that 60-40 split actually takes place after major labels and distributors (in this case 300 Entertainment, Atlantic Records, and Warner Music Group) get their cut, and that leaves Megan Thee Stallion with an even lower percentage of the profit, which her lawsuit claimed was just 26%. Additionally, the 1501 and Megan contract was interpreted to be akin to a 360-deal, with 1501 demanding 50% of Megan’s publishing and varying percentages of her merchandise sales, sponsorships, endorsements, and touring profits. The contract also reportedly included a clause that asked Meg to “give up all rights to her name and likeness.”
J. Prince, who had also been accused by Megan Thee Stallion’s team of being “notorious in the industry for strong-armed intimidation tactics” and facilitating a smear campaign against Meg by resurfacing her 2015 mugshot, responded to the lawsuit on Instagram.
“BREAKING NEWS ALERT â¼ï¸Houston we have a problem Megan, along with Roc Nation Employee Geetanjali Grace Lyer decided to include my name in a lawsuit wrapped around lies and stupidity. We gone get this shit straight,” J. Prince wrote in an Instagram post on March 5, 2020. “I extended my hand to meet with Megan, T Farris, and team personally for further negotiations. Unfortunately it never happened even though we’re all in Houston, because she’s being controlled by the very people who started this shit. The homie Carl was an angel in Megan’s eyes when he was spending hundreds of thousands investing in her career. Now that he’s helped her become a successful artist she stopped paying him his percentage and views him as the devil. I’m glad money don’t make me. I make money.”
On April 15, a Texas judge decided to deny Carl Crawford’s request to settle 1501 Certified Entertainment and Megan Thee Stallion’s legal dispute through arbitration. Later that month on April 29, Megan The Stallion’s Suga standout track “Savage” received an official remix from Beyoncé, and it was released as a charity single for Houston-based charity Bread of Life’s COVID-19 relief efforts. Despite the ongoing legal battle between 1501 and Megan, J. Prince — who was acting as the label’s consultant — reportedly signed off on the charity collaboration and forfeited 1501’s royalties and profits from the song.
The Beyoncé-assisted “Savage Remix” reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100. Carl Crawford celebrated the song’s success in a now-deleted Instagram post, writing, “#1! We did it for our city! Waking up to good news is a blessing man, and coming together for this collaboration was a no brainer. I’m so proud of everyone involved in making this project happen and the help that has been given to Bread of Life, Houston through its success. We’ve gotten to feed so many people in need because the fans showed up n showed out and streamed! We did this together! I’m just grateful.” Crawford did not mention or congratulate Megan Thee Stallion in the post.
Carl Crawford was interviewed by former Heavy senior writer Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, and during the conversation, Crawford detailed how the relationship between Megan Thee Stallion and 1501 Certified Entertainment was fairing seven months after Megan’s lawsuit, making it clear that a personal reconciliation was unlikely.
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“We’re still contractually together, so of course we want her to do well,” Crawford said. “You don’t want her to do bad because it’s not going to benefit us if she does bad, you know? So, we want her to do well. We just want her to honor her contract. That’s the whole big deal behind the situation.”
“We’ll definitely handle the business part but, just far as the personal stuff…” he continued. “I don’t really know about that. The business part is what we’re working on so we’ll definitely take care of that hopefully soon. We did that situation and that’ll take care of itself at one point and everybody can move on. That’s the best for everybody in my mind.”
Megan Thee Stallion released her debut studio album, Good News, on November 20, 2020 via 1501 Certified Entertainment and 300 Entertainment. The 17-track album’s runtime was approximately 50 minutes. Good News debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 with 100,000 album-equivalent units, and it spawned the hit singles “Girls In The Hood,” “Body” and Cry Baby.” According to Megan’s 1501 contract that went public earlier in 2020, Good News was her first 1501 release to officially count as an album.
During a year-end appearance on Big Bank and DJ Scream’s REVOLT-affiliated Big Facts podcast, J. Prince spoke on the million-dollar lawsuit between Megan Thee Stallion and 1501 Certified Entertainment.
“Carl Crawford is the homie. He’s from 5th Ward, he’s from my hood,” Prince said. “Thanks to the homie Jay-Z right now because he and I are about to close that. I’m hoping that we close this week. There’s some things that’s facts where independent labels are concerned. When we ignite and start movements — and it’s been going on since back in the day and probably before me — the majors will come in and try to take your shit. That’s just how it go, you know what I mean?”
“Clearly, that’s what was trying to take place where he was concerned, and I couldn’t allow it to happen on my watch,” he continued. “We was able to balance that scale and let one know that [Crawford] deserves to be compensated for the risk and different things he took.”
The conversation about Carl Crawford, 1501, and Megan Thee Stallion begins at the 1:01.22-mark.
J. Prince virtually appeared on The Breakfast Club, and he once again hinted that Megan Thee Stallion and 1501 Certified Entertainment were coming to a resolution with the help of Jay-Z.
“Me and the homie Jay-Z spoke last week on the last point of closing that deal,” J. Prince said. “He and I, you know, I think we was on the phone for 2 minutes but we was in agreement with reaching the last deal points. I’m looking for that to be wrapped up. Everything will be smooth. She’s still with 1501, you know, slash 300. And Roc Nation is managing her.”
J. Prince’s 1501 comments start at the 6:30-mark.
After releasing a slew of singles — including the “On Me” remix with Lil Baby in April and “Thot Shit” in June — throughout the first half of 2021, Megan Thee Stallion ran into another roadblock with 1501 Certified Entertainment in August, during the lead-up to her highly anticipated remix to BTS’ “Butter.” On August 24, Megan’s legal team filed a petition to the court in Harris County, Texas, claiming that 1501 was once again blocking her from releasing new music.
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According to Variety, Megan’s team requested “emergency relief from the Court before Friday, August 27, 2021, to allow her new music to be released as previously-scheduled,” and her team also argued that 1501’s attempts to stop the release of the “Butter” remix would cause “cause “irreparable damage” to her career and her professional relationships. Similar to the Suga relief situation in 2020, Megan Thee Stallion was cleared to release the remix alongside BTS.
In response to Megan’s second major legal win against 1501, Carl Crawford shared a subliminal message on his Instagram story, writing, “Even when I lose I still win… Don’t let that go over y’all head.”
Megan Thee Stallion released Something for Thee Hotties: From Thee Archives on October 29, 2021 via 1501 Certified Entertainment and 300 Entertainment. Ahead of the project’s release, Megan shared a now-deleted teaser on Instagram and wrote the following message: “My gift to my hotties 10/29…freestyles y’all been asking for plus a few unreleased songs from my archives to hold y’all over for the rest of the year.”
The 21-track project sported a runtime of 44 minutes and 38 seconds, and it featured her 2021 hit “Thot Shit,” the new fan-favorite “Megan’s Piano,” and popular previously released freestyles. An hour before its release, Megan Thee Stallion announced that the project would be arriving a little late on its schedule release date due to the addition of five new tracks.
The classification of Something For Thee Hotties remains a contentious topic between Megan Thee Stallion — who sees it as her second full-length studio album for her label — and 1501 Certified Entertainment — who deems it a compilation project with previously released material and B-sides. Despite their disagreement about how it should legally be classified, Something For Thee Hotties made a strong debut at #5 on the Billboard 200.
Carl Crawford acknowledged his label’s ongoing legal battle with Megan Thee Stallion in an Instagram post, writing, “Year 3 and I’m still battling this court cases about bullshit.” Crawford also took a moment to offer advice to up-and-coming independent business owners, saying, “Up and coming indie Bosses and CEO’s pay close attention to this cause this can easily be u one day ..They try and drain u with the court systems in hopes of u folding.”
Later that month, Crawford appeared as a guest on Bally Sports, and during his appearance, he was once again interviewed by Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson. In the brief interview, Crawford applauds Megan Thee Stallion for graduating college and landing a Netflix deal, and he also admits that he is hopeful about reaching a resolution with the Something For Thee Hotties artist.
“All of it is cool, you know what I’m sayin’, but it would have been cooler if we was all like, getting along still,” Crawford said. “Like really…things just, you know, always went left and we still don’t have a real reason why things went left. Everything is cool with her. I still wish her the best and we just gon’ keep pushing our thing at 1501.”
Another whirlwind of updates and heated back-and-forths over social media made February 2022 one of the most significant moments in Megan Thee Stallion and 1501’s strained relationship. On February 22, 2022, Megan’s legal team reportedly filed a request to dismiss her ongoing lawsuit against 1501 Certified Entertainment without prejudice, according to HipHopDX.
Court documents obtained by Ace Showbiz read, “Megan Pete hereby nonsuits all of the claims she has asserted in the above-captioned lawsuit against Defendants 1501 Certified Entertainment, LLC, Carl Crawford, and James Prince, without prejudice to the re-filing of the same. Plaintiff’s claims concerning the release of her album ‘Suga’ on March 6, 2020 and the release of the feature track ‘Butter’ with BTS (Bangtan Boys) on August 27, 2021 have been resolved with the release of her music. As of the date of this filing, Pete is not waiving, and is expressly reserving all her audit rights pursuant to her contractual agreements with 1501 Certified Entertainment, LLC and other third-parties.”
Crawford reposted Ace Showbiz‘ report on Instagram with a celebratory caption, saying, “Only the real [H-]town can relate. Now tell em to run my bread dating all the way back from 2018.”
However, Crawford’s Instagram post elicited a direct (and now-deleted) response from Megan Thee Stallion, in which she wrote, “This dude never know wtf is going on with his business. The case that Was dismissed against you was from when you wasn’t trying to let me drop music … you and 300 signed off and let me drop music so there is no case no more… we are most definitely STILL IN COURT and YOU STILL GETTING SUED BC YOU OWE ME MONEY!!! I AINT NEVER BEEN PAID FROM 1501 IN MY LIFE ! I make money bc im MEGAN THEE STALLION ! Grown ass men wanna bully me and eat off my name and paint me out as a villain online bc they know these bandwagon ass haters gone eat that sh*t up ! I dont even be saying shit to you lame ass niggas bc the TRUTH always comes out.”
Megan then went on to share more of her thoughts on the matter on her Instagram story, saying, “Mfs pick with me all day then when i say something im the problem F*CK ALL YALL. This mf got my accomplishments in that bio and ain’t contributed to sh*t SINCE 2018… NOT STUDIO TIME, NOT A MUSIC VIDEO NOT A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT, sh*t not even a flight!!! But you trying to eat off me AND PICK WITH ME ONLINE.”
Screenshot via @theestallion on Instagram
Screenshot via @theestallion on Instagram
Screenshot via @theestallion on Instagram
On February 23, 2022, Megan Thee Stallion fired back at 1501 with a new lawsuit, this time alleging that her record label is trying to keep her locked into her contract by refusing to recognize Something For Thee Hotties as an album. According to NME, Megan’s latest lawsuit is primarily concerned with “seeking a declaration that her album, Something for Thee Hotties constituted an ‘Album’ as defined in the parties’ recording agreement.” NME‘s report alleges that 1501 Certified Entertainment informed Megan Thee Stallion that the recently released compilation would not satisfy the album requirements in her contractual agreement.
An attorney for 1501 denied Megan’s claims, saying, “She can’t just deliver us an album that we did not approve and then claim it satisfies her recording contract. It doesn’t, and the contract is pretty clear about that. I’ll be interested to hear what they have to say when they’re under oath.” On February 24, 2022, Carl Crawford responded to Megan’s allegations on his Instagram story, writing, “We’re not bullying nobody. That’s yet another lie and fake narrative made up by some of the best PR people u would ever come across #(Know)whatsreallyreal.”
Carl Crawford formally responded to Megan Thee Stallion’s February lawsuit with a counter lawsuit of his own. On March 21, 2022, Crawford and 1501 Certified Entertainment challenged Megan’s previous lawsuit, arguing that Something For Thee Hotties was “made up of 21 recordings and includes spoken interlude recordings on which MTS does not appear as well as several previously-released recordings.” According to TMZ, 1501 is seeking that the judge does not classify Something For Thee Hotties as an album, and the label is also requesting a full accounting of Megan’s earnings.
Crawford acknowledged the countersuit and Megan Thee Stallion directly on Instagram, writing, “Stop playing the victim @theestallion u haven’t paid for 1 show since 2019 … hiding behind #Rocnation .. U can keep that bullshit ass mix tape and send over that straight drop whenever u ready.”
Megan responded to Crawford’s counter-suit on Twitter, and over a slew of tweets, she questioned everything from Crawford’s logic to his label’s accounting practices.
“First the man over my label said I don’t make him any money … now he counter suing trying to keep me on his label because he wants to make more money lol if I ain’t making you no money why not just drop me?” Megan Thee Stallion wrote in one tweet before deciding to take a break from the app altogether. “Bye im not speaking to nobody else on here ..see y’all in court.”
From that point on, Megan Thee Stallion and Carl Crawford have regularly aired each other out on social media, with their legal battle devolving into Megan accusing Crawford of popping pills and Crawford accusing Megan of being a cokehead and an alcoholic.
During a performance of her 2019 track “Realer,” Megan Thee Stallion sent a subtle, but effective message to her estranged label. Instead of rapping the song’s original lyrics — “Put some respect on my team (Huh) / I’m the 1501 queen (Ayy) / Bitch, you better learn who run it / ’Cause all this money gotta come through me” — Megan remained silent and stuck up her middle finger.
Carl Crawford caught wind of her performance and responded on his Instagram story, writing, “See i really just be mining my business…Nah Fuck U Seahorse!! Song should be called Faker than Fake. And Fuck T. Farris too u bitch.”
On August 4, 2022, Megan Thee Stallion let off some steam by venting on Instagram and Twitter. “I can’t catch a break,” the Grammy-wining rapper lamented. “My label hate me and my shit always leak…at this point invite the hotties to the studio and shoots.”
In the lead-up to her latest release, Megan’s previously shared sentiments about her label and her music leaks became more serious, as she officially accused Carl Crawford and 1501 of sabotaging the release of Traumazine. “Y’all know I always have problems with dropping my music under this label,” Megan tweeted on August 10, 2022, alluding to the fast-approaching end of her tenure on 1501. “All these games and having to go to court just to put out my art has been so stressful. Thank you hotties for rocking with me through the bullshit WE ALMOST OUT LETS STAY FOCUSED AND RUN THIS LAST ONE UP.”
On August 11, Meg kept the leak allegations coming on Twitter, saying, “From my cover art, pieces of my track list and me even hearing a part of a song I haven’t dropped yet leaking (and we ALL know who the only ppl who had access to all these PRIVATE links are..) I might as well…lol.”
Upon seeing Megan’s accusations, Crawford responded to her claims in a series of Instagram stories. “[Damn] @tfarrismoney. Was that the best [you] and yo artist would come up with… Good job [you] fat b*tch… But I guess I’ll do my part to help the struggling sells,” Crawford stated. “Smh. She’s using this as her marketing strategy to promote the album. Wow. By the way, what leaks? Have y’all seen or heard any leaks?” Crawford also reposted Megan’s accusations on his Instagram feed, writing, “(In my shaggy voice) -It wasn’t me…But definitely go get that new Project this Friday.”
Amidst publicized label drama, Megan Thee Stallion’s Traumazine arrived on August 12, 2022. The project, which was released on 1501 Certified Entertainment and 300 Entertainment, clocks in at a 51-minute runtime, and it features Megan’s previously released singles “Plan B” and “Pressureliscious” as well as her new breakout track “Her.” The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200. For all intents and purposes, Traumazine appears to satisfy the necessary requirements for 1501 to classify it as an album.
Following the release of Traumazine, the legal battle between 1501 and Megan Thee Stallion intensified. According to Rolling Stone, Megan amended her February lawsuit on August 22, 2022, with court documents revealing that the rapper is now seeking $1M in damages in addition to a court mandate that her 2021 project “both constitute[s] an ‘album’ as defined in the parties’ recording agreement.”
In the aftermath of Megan’s new amendment, J. Prince, Carl Crawford, and Megan have all been exchanging words over social media with J. Prince stepping in to defend Crawford and Crawford claiming that Megan isn’t actually from Houston, Texas. Catch up on everything that has been said below.
Throughout all of the internet back-and-forths, Megan was able to secure filmed depositions against Carl Crawford and J. Prince. According to TMZ, J. Prince’s deposition will take place on October 24, 2022, and Crawford’s deposition will take place the day after on October 25, 2022.
From Megan Thee Stallion’s team’s point of view, the Houston-bred rapper has successfully satisfied her contractual agreement with 1501 and should be allowed to pursue new professional endeavors, and from Carl Crawford, J. Prince, and 1501 Certified Entertainment’s perspective, Megan still has to deliver at least one more album to be free from her contract.
Now that you are fully caught up on the long and messy timeline of Megan Thee Stallion and 1501 Certified Entertainment’s strained relationship, what are your thoughts on the situation? Will this dispute be resolved anytime soon? Or do you think that one party is clearly in the wrong here? Let us know in the comment section below.