ericb

Eric B. Wants To Be Paid In Full, Suing Island Def Jam

Eric B. & Rakim’s

groundbreaking album, Paid In Full is being re-released as a double CD

set, featuring the original album remastered and a collection of remixes.

But Eric "Eric

B." Barrier is not pleased with Island re-releasing the album, alleging

that the label has never paid the duo for the legendary album and is filing

a lawsuit against Island Def Jam Music Group, Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons.

"We have never

received a dime from Paid In Full, not one dime, despite it selling so

well throughout the years," Barrier told AllHipHop.com. "We were managed

by Rush Management at the time of the album being released. Lyor managed the

day to day operations. I recently talked to Russell and Lyor about it. Their

lawyers said it was too old for us to fight and that they could beat us in court."

Barrier said that

before he considered legal action against Cohen, Simmons and the Island Def

Jam Music Group, he attempted to settle the dispute out of court.

"I approached

them to settle this dispute 9 months ago," Barrier said. "They have

been exploiting these masters for years. It’s just another way to f*ck someone.

I’m going to sue everyone. They expect me to go up to the offices on the ole

n*gga sh*t and go up against his head, but we aint into that. We are going to

file the lawsuit against them and Island."

Barrier said the

issues started when they were being managed by Simmons’ Rush Management. The

group was signed to a small label, Zakiya Records.

Barrier said the

Paid In Full album was completed in a short period of time and ended

up being released by 4th & Broadway, a division of Island Records in 1987.

"Our contracts

were never signed to Island," Eric B. said. "Island tried to give

us $475,000 to be locked in, but Universal came with a million. They went to

court and ruled against Island and said they had no rights. That’s how we got

out of being signed to 4th and Broadway and the masters were supposed to be

returned to us. That means they were supposed to stop selling the record."

Eric B. said that

the seminal record has been a constant seller though the years in the United

States and abroad, not to mention compilations the music from the album has

been featured on and the movies that it has appeared in.

"These masters

have been exploited so bad," Eric B. continued. "Lyor charged Damon

Dash $5,000 for the masters. Now this is the lead title track to the movie…the

lead track usually get at least $200,000 without even blinking. If your saying

you have a right to license these masters on behalf of Eric B. & Rakim and

your only going to license it for that amount, your not doing a good job."

Barrier said that

his decision to sue was strictly business and that he harbored no animosity

towards Simmons or Cohen, who are both Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music

Group.

"This is business

and not personal, but Russell can fight for Luda and get $4 million from Pepsi.

He’s the Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group. Eric B. calls about getting

a settlement and that’s not important. How can you sit there and fight Pepsi

for Luda but you can’t settle this thing for Eric B. and Rakim for one of the

most important albums in history? I told Russell I never received a dime. He

said to me, ‘Oh my god Eric, I can’t believe it.’ Russell said out of his own

mouth, ‘they must owe you 60-70 million dollars.’ OK, so why can’t we settle

this with Lyor before it becomes a big thing?"

Barrier said that

he was in the process of hiring top litigators to help with his case.

"All the press

is going to make them look bad. We are going to sue everybody. I am suing Island

and I am going to sue Lyor personally. I told them I didn’t want it to come

to this, but they owe us. They are getting free money year after year after

year off our work."

Cohen, Simmons or representatives

for Island/Def Jam did not comment as of press time.

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