Triller responds to a lawsuit filed by Verzuz co-founders.
Swizz Beatz and Timbaland are suing social video platform Triller for defaulting on a sale of their “Verzuz” franchise. However, the social media platform which is hoping to replace Tik Tok in the American market is pushing back as it claims that the rappers have been paid over 50 million so far from the deal and that the two rappers have failed to complete obligations on their part.
In a new lawsuit filed by the two hip-hop icons, they say that Triller has failed to settle its agreement to purchase Verzuz despite running off Verzuz events on its platform.
Last March, Triller announced that it had acquired Verzuz to be administered on its social platform in a bid to expand into the music space and work with prominent artists. Both rappers were said to be shareholders under the sale agreement for an undisclosed sum of money, and they also had said that an equity stake from their remaining shares would be given to 43 performers who participated in Verzuz.
Verzuz was created by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland as an idea off of an Instagram Live, but instead of the artists talking, they were to clash. The event became popular largely due to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic had forced people indoors due to social distancing regulations, and everything shifted online.
Music fans, particularly those in the hip hop sphere, craved entertainment which Verzuz satisfied. However, a year since the deal was brokered, the two rappers say that Verzuz has defaulted on the agreement.
According to TMZ, Timbaland and Swizz want to recover $28 million from Triller, which is unpaid monies owed for the rap battle idea.
The rappers say that Triller initially paid two payments on the amount, but after that, the company defaulted. After that event, the rappers say that Triller eventually made another payment, but shortly after that, they defaulted on the deal.
Triller now owes $28 million plus interest, the rappers say.
Meanwhile, according to TMZ, Triller says that they have paid the rappers millions in cash, and stock is not aware of what’s happening.
“This is truly unfortunate and we hope it is nothing more than a misunderstanding driven by lawyers. We do not wish to air our dirty laundry in the press, but we have paid Swizz and Tim millions in cash and in stock,” a statement by Triller said.
“No one has benefited as much from Triller to date. Triller has helped fuel VERZUZ to new heights – making it the global cultural phenomenon it is today. We hope to resolve this amicably and quickly, and truly hope it’s just a misunderstanding. If we are forced to defend it, we are more than optimistic the truth and facts are on our side,” an earlier statement from Triller said.
In a later statement shared on Monday afternoon, Triller claimed that they paid Swizz and Timbaland $50 million so far under the deal, and there isn’t any feud over money.
“This is not a feud over Verzuz, but simply about earn-out payments to Swizz and Tim. Swizz and Tim have personally been paid by Triller over $50 million in cash and stock to date, and they stand to benefit even more over time. In addition, they have annual obligations, which if met, and no breach has occurred, entitles them to additional payments,” a statement from the company said.
It continued, “Only one payment of $10 million is in question. We do not believe they have met the thresholds for that payment yet, which include, but are not limited to, delivery of a set number of Verzuz events for 2022. We have been trying to resolve this amicably and this does not affect Verzuz operations or Triller’s ownership of Verzuz. If this does proceed in court, we look forward to a judgment that weighs all the facts,” the statement ended.