.

TVT Wins $132M in Ja Ruling

Def Jam ordered to pay for blocking album

May 7, 2003 12:00 AM ET

An album that rapper Ja Rule never made for TVT Records earned the New York independent label $128 million in a verdict this week.

The Queens, New York, rapper signed with TVT ten years ago, and with the label's blessing, he moved to Island/Def Jam in 1998. For Def Jam, he released his debut, Venni Vetti Vecci, in 1998, followed by the breakthrough Rule 3:36 two years later. With the release of Pain Is Love in 2001 and The Last Temptation last year, Ja Rule became one of the most successful rappers of the past five years and the flagship artist on Murder Inc. Records, an Island/Def Jam imprint.

Though he severed ties with TVT years ago, Ja Rule and some collaborators tried to make an album for the label in 2001 based on recordings made prior to his signing with Def Jam, but the larger label blocked the album's release. A jury awarded TVT $24 million in compensatory damages, for various unrecoupable costs pertaining to the recording, as well as another $108 million in punitive damages. Attorneys for Def Jam admitted that the compensatory damages were owed, but urged against a punitive penalty.

Def Jam will appeal the verdict.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com