Chance the Rapper has filed a lawsuit against his former manager Pat Corcoran, accusing Pat of exploiting Chance’s stature, damaging his reputation, and demanding kickbacks.
Last year, Chance the Rapper’s former manager Pat Corcoran (aka Pat the Manager) sued Chance for breach of contract. Chance has now responded to the lawsuit, filing motions to dismiss the majority of Corcoran’s claims, the Chicago Tribune reports and Pitchfork can confirm. In addition, Chance has filed his own lawsuit against Corcoran, alleging that Corcoran is, in fact, the one who breached a contract.
Lawyers for Chance the Rapper, whose real name is Chancelor J. Bennett, shared the following statement with Pitchfork:
Mr. Corcoran has been paid in full under his management services contract with Mr. Bennett. Yet he chose to file a groundless and insulting lawsuit that ignores his own improper self-dealing and incompetence. Mr. Bennett has moved to dismiss the majority of that meritless lawsuit, and filed his own lawsuit to remedy the harm that Mr. Corcoran caused through his breaches of duty. Mr. Bennett trusts the legal system to reveal the truth of the parties’ relationship in due course.
One of Pat Corcoran’s primary claims in his lawsuit was that, in 2013, he and Chance entered into an agreement that would pay him 15% of net profits from Chance-related merchandise, tours and concerts, mixtape and album streams and sales, branding deals and endorsements, and film and TV ventures. The 15% cut is one of the few allegations that Chance and his lawyers do not deny in their response to the lawsuit. Chance and his team do, however, deny that they have outstanding charges that they owe Corcoran.
Disagreements in Corcoran and Chance’s stories largely stem from differing views on the manager’s influence and impact on the rapper’s career. For example, Corcoran claimed in his lawsuit that he and agent Cara Lewis were “able to schedule Bennett as the opening act for several well-known artists such as Eminem and Mac Miller,” due to the success of Acid Rap. In response, Chance and his lawyers say the bookings were “not as a result of any assistance provided by Mr. Corcoran.”
In addition, Corcoran claimed he was fired due to “fan disappointment in Bennett’s most recent album [The Big Day] and underwhelming fan support for its associated tour.” He also derided the album’s recording process and its quality, claiming that The Big Day “was panned by many influential critics.” Chance and his team, instead, say “the album received many favorable reviews.” They also allege that “Corcoran had all but abandoned his management responsibilities prior to and during the creation of the album, choosing to delegate his responsibilities to his employees so he could spend more time pursuing his own separate interests and the interests of his other businesses.”
In his own lawsuit (filed in an Illinois court on February 19), Chance alleges that “Corcoran repeatedly breached his fiduciary responsibilities to Mr. Bennett by trading on Mr. Bennett’s good name for his own benefit, diverting business opportunities to his separate companies, and demanding and accepting kickbacks as the ‘price’ of doing business with the Mr. Bennett.”
Throughout the lawsuit, Chance downplays Corcoran’s role in shaping and advancing his career. Instead, Chance highlights the importance of his father Ken Bennett and his brother Taylor Bennett in amplifying Chance’s success. (Corcoran, in contrast, had suggested Chance worked more closely with his family only after The Big Day.) Consistently, Chance claims that Corcoran violated his trust, resulting in the April 2020 termination of their relationship.
Among Chance’s allegations is that Corcoran used Chance’s reputation and success to promote his own wine company (No Fine Print) and record company (Nice Work). In one instance, Chance claims, Corcoran suggested to Live Nation that the touring company “would have a much better chance of getting to promote a tour involving Mr. Bennett if it agreed to buy wine from Mr. Corcoran.” Live Nation apparently agreed to buy the wine and Chance eventually announced a Live Nation tour, but now claims he was unaware of the wine deal at the time. He and his lawyers write that “Mr. Corcoran’s conduct violated his fiduciary duties to Mr. Bennett.”
Elsewhere in the lawsuit, Chance says Corcoran “botch[ed]” the plan to release Chance’s mixtapes and album on vinyl. According to Chance, “Corcoran did not secure a single vinyl copy of 10 Day, Acid Rap, Coloring Book, or The Big Day before the projects were listed for sale on chanceraps.com. As a result of Mr. Corcoran’s mismanagement, fans placed orders for the vinyl copies despite the fact that no vinyl copies actually existed.” Chance says that he was forced to refund over $1 million for unfulfilled vinyl sales.
In contrast to Chance’s claims, Corcoran had said in his lawsuit that he and Chance devised the vinyl plan together. Corcoran also said the “plan was suddenly halted at the last minute after Taylor Bennett unilaterally decided that he disagreed with the sale and distribution strategy.” Corcoran added, “This abrupt shift put a halt on the production of the goods and fulfillment of orders, which could only be lifted through express authorization of [Chance the Rapper].”
Formally, Chance is suing Corcoran for breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and breach of contract. For each count, Chance is asking for at least $1 million.
When reached by Pitchfork, Pat Corcoran and Pat the Manager LLC shared the following statement:
Rather than confront the substance of Pat the Manager’s claims, the defendants have elected to attack Mr. Corcoran’s character and rewrite history. The aspersions cast by the Chance camp are offensive and do not reflect the reality of the relationship that Mr. Corcoran and Mr. Bennett developed over many years of collaboration. The results of the pair’s fruitful teamwork—and the contrasting results when Mr. Corcoran was sidelined—are evident to the public. Mr. Corcoran is proud of the work he did on Mr. Bennett’s behalf, and is proud of the work he continues to perform for other talented artists. Mr. Corcoran looks forward to presenting his claims and airing out the defendants’ baseless accusations in court.
Chance the Rapper and Corcoran stopped working together in April 2020.