Battle For Ownership Of Houston-Based Rap-A-Lot Records Begins

A

new battle is brewing in rap and this time it’s between Rap-A-Lot/J. Prince Boxing

CEO James Prince and incarcerated drug dealer Michael "Harry-O" Harris.According

to Harris’ attorney Steve Goldberg, Harris has laid claim to a 50% stake in Rap-A-Lot

Records, alleging that he provided seed money to launch the label in the mid-’80s,

similar to claims Harris made against Marion "Suge" Knight’s Death Row

Records."He

has a 50/50 oral agreement with James Prince and we are going to find out exactly

how much money is owed," Goldberg told AllHipHop.com. "Of course we

expect Prince to deny this, but there were witnesses to the oral agreement at

the inception of Rap-A-Lot. Michael helped get Rap-A-Lot off the ground by booking

acts and providing start-up capital. James Prince would be no place without Michael

Harris. And just like he [Harris] won a judgment against Death Row, he will win

against Rap-A-Lot."Since

it’s founding in 1986, Rap-A-Lot has produced hit records for the Geto Boys, Scarface,

Bun B and Pimp C, and the Luniz, among others.Harris

founded various entertainment-related ventures in the ’80s, including the production

of Denzel Washington’s Broadway debut Checkmates in 1987.Prince

has been ordered by a Houston judge to produce documents relating to the assets

of Michael or Lydia Harris, including but not limited to the assets of Rap-A-Lot

Records.Prince

must appear in a Los Angeles court Thursday (Oct. 12) for continued deposition.

Goldberg

said he seeks to start with finding links between Knight and Prince.Of

interest to Goldberg is a recent album 2Face, that consists of 2Pac

and Scarface tracks released on Rap-A-Lot Records and co-produced by Knight."We

found out that Prince was less than forthcoming in his first deposition,"

said Goldberg. "He denied Rap-A-Lot was doing business with Death Row, but

we found out about the 2Face CD. Because of that, we showed the judge that Prince

had not been totally candid in his first deposition. I’m going to keep questioning

this guy until we get what we need."In

September, Prince celebrated a minor victory when questions regarding J. Prince

and Suge Knight were initially thrown out."Harris

is a pathological lying snitch," Prince said in September, adding that he

was "pleased with the judge’s decision on the court ruling" at the time.Michael

Harris is serving 28-years in San Quentin for attempted-murder and drug dealing.

He claimed

he invested $1.5 million to help start Death Row Records in 1991 with Knight’s

attorney, David Kenner.Knight

filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying Harris’ estranged wife Lydia

a $107 million default judgment and Death Row was placed into the hands of a Bankruptcy

trustee to auction off the labels assets, which include multi-platinum recordings

from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and Tupac Shakur, the best-selling rapper

in history."Nothing

was dismissed," Goldberg clarified. "If Rap-A-Lot said anything was

dismissed from court, that was a misstatement. Until Michael Harris gets what’s

owed to him, we are not letting go."Attempts

to reach J. Prince and Rap-A-Lot for comment were unsuccessful.

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