Legal Battle With Top Dawg Prompts Indie Artist To Write An Open Letter To Kendrick Lamar
By Mike Winslow
“After the verse was delivered and the payment was made, all communication ceased. I had my lawyers reach out to your lawyer at the time Josh Binder, Interscope and Top Dawg Entertainment,” Jonathan Emile writes in his open letter to K-Dot.
“No one would get back to us. Your team, and Top Dawg, in particular, was always difficult to deal with especially after the song was recorded.
“TDE took a long time to respond to emails, they didn’t answer many of our questions, and they ignored our continued requests to sign the paperwork,” Jonathan Emile continued. “Your career trajectory since then has been astronomical, so we assumed you were just busy and I continued to work on my album.”
Jonathan Emile claims he scrounged together the money to pay for a lawyer to get the proper paperwork drawn up and signed, but he claims that after TDE received the payments, communication began to grind to halt.
According to Jonathan Emile, he finally decided to put his album The Lover/Fighter Document out anyway, since he went through the proper legal channels.
But, after the release and the single begin to gain some buzz, Universal Music Group and Top Dawg himself, ordered Jonathan Emile to take the single down, which was eventually yanked from all of the major streaming platforms.
“I informed him that I had every right to have the song released and that there was nothing I could do because it was live on the internet and scheduled for iTunes release. I proposed to remove the song if I was refunded, but Top Dawg refused,” Jonathan Emile wrote.
Jonathan Emile said ultimately, his lawyer helped him win the case, and Top Dawg allegedly admitted that he ordered the song be taken down because he felt “disrespected.”
The case wound through the court system in Canada, and Jonathan Emile eventually won a verdict against TDE, according to his letter.
However, Jonathan Emile claims the label has failed to honor the verdict, prompting his open letter and his pleas to Kendrick Lamar.