Afeni Shakur filed for an injunction against Death Row Records in a bankruptcy court, claiming that the label is attempting to sell recordings by her son Tupac Shakur, that are actually owned by Amaru, during bankruptcy proceedings.
Shakur filed for an injunction on July 20 against Death Row Records, Inc. and R. Todd Neilson as Chapter 11 Trustee in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.
Suge Knight and Death Row filed for bankruptcy in April 2006, listing debts of over $100 million.
Shakur claims that Death Row Records has been holding on to 152 tracks recorded by Shakur shortly before his shooting death in 1996 and attempting to auction them during an asset auction to be held.
The recordings should have been turned over to the Tupac Shakur Estate in 1997, in accordance with a settlement agreement reached with Death Row Records.
“The 1997 Death Row Agreement provided that all unreleased songs physically housed in the data vaults at Death Row Records, would become the rightful property of the Tupac Shakur Estate,” said Donald N. David, General Counsel for Amaru Entertainment. “Conversely, the Estate was under the assumption that it was in possession of all master recordings containing Tupac as a featured artist or side artist, as represented by Death Row. However, upon assessing the Debtor’s bankruptcy assets, it was revealed that an album’s worth of unreleased Tupac material was being advertised to potential buyers as the jewel in the crown of the Death Row assets, which is in direct violation of the terms of the 1997 settlement with Death Row.”
According to David, no where in the contract between Tupac and Death Row does it state that Death Row would own the unreleased material recorded by Tupac, thus, the company sought custody of the master tapes and any unreleased recordings featuring Tupac.
“Tupac Shakur is the highest selling rap artist in history and we are concerned that his inclusion in the sale falsely inflates the value of the property,” David added.
Tupac was shot on September 7 in Las Vegas and died days later, after on September 13 1996.
After his death, Death Row and the rapper’s family settled for an undisclosed amount, after allegations surfaced which revealed the label defrauded the Tupac.
The court will also decide if Death Row will be allowed to release albums with unreleased tracks to help pay its debt. A date for the hearing is expected to be confirmed next month.