Timbaland and Swizz Beats filed a $28 million dollar lawsuit against social media app Triller, alleging the company has missed numerous payments to the two producers since Triller acquired their rap battle show Verzuz last year.
In March 2021, Triller announced it was acquiring Verzuz for an undisclosed amount in a deal that made Swizz Beatz and Timbaland shareholders in its parent company Triller Network.
According to the lawsuit, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland agreed to sell Verzuz to Triller back in Jan. 2021 but they said the company began missing payments in Jan. 2022, skipping out on a large settlement promised in March. Under its terms, Triller was suppose to pay them $9 million each no later than March 17. After that, Triller would pay them $500,000 each on the first of the month for 10 months.
Triller again defaulted on the agreement, according to the lawsuit. The company did not pay the $18 million in March, nor did it make any of the $1 million monthly installment payments. In April, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz sent out a notice and demand for payment, but Triller still hasn’t paid up. “To date, Defendants have failed and refused to make any payment to [Swizz Beatz and Timbaland] of the past due sums due and owing,” the lawsuit reads.
The two music producers launched Verzuz on Instagram just after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March 2020. It began as a remote competition and, as restrictions lifted, pivoted to in-person live events streamed in real time on the social platform as well as Apple Music. Over the course of the series, dozens of artists have been featured including Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Keyshia Cole, Brandy, Monica and more.
Triller has yet to release a statement on the matter.