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2Pac Producer Master Tee’s “Dear Mama” Compensation Demands Called “Pure Fantasy”

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Interscope Records, Hulu and others sought the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by producer Master Tee, who said he never received proper credit for his work on 2Pac’s song “Dear Mama.”

According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, the defendants asked a New York court to reopen the case. The move would allow them to pursue a motion to dismiss after the litigation was paused for mediation.

The defendants claimed Master Tee made ridiculous demands in their settlement discussions. Digital Music News was the first to report on the latest developments in the case.

“Prior to entering into the parties’ stipulation to stay the action to accommodate settlement discussions and an MSC, counsel for plaintiff told the undersigned that plaintiff did not want to ‘hold anybody up’ and that a small writer’s royalty, a reasonable fee for use of ‘Dear Mama’ in the Dear Mama documentary … and a credit were all he wanted,” attorney Stephen Rothschild wrote. “Plaintiff’s counsel later repeated that position. That is why moving defendants promoted the idea of a settlement conference.”

The lawyer continued, “However, on April 23, 2024, plaintiff’s counsel sent the email proposing a $1.6 million cash settlement or a $200,000 cash settlement, an award of a 15 percent writer’s royalty for ‘Dear Mama,’ and a doubling of his producer royalty. The demand would be pure fantasy even if plaintiff’s claims were not more than 20 years too late.

“First, a 15 percent writer’s royalty would be nearly twice the Shakur Estate’s 8.33 percent royalty. Second, there is no basis to increase plaintiff’s producer royalty, as his producer royalty is set by a written contract that he signed in the 1990s.”

Interscope and its fellow defendants said they “urged plaintiff to examine the case and formulate a proposal that is realistic.” He hasn’t complied, per Rothschild.

Master Tee sued Interscope, fellow producer Tony Pizarro and more for copyright infringement, among other claims, in 2023. Master Tee argued he was cheated out of credit and compensation for “Dear Mama” by Pizarro, Interscope and Universal Music Group.

The producer pursued litigation months after the release of Hulu’s docuseries Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur. The documentary’s director, Allen Hughes, was included as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Justin Ivey

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