Chance the Rapper Files Countersuit Against Former Manager
The artist calls ex-colleague Pat Corcoran's initial lawsuit "groundless and insulting"
Published Feb 24, 2021Last December, Chance the Rapper's former manager Pat Corcoran (a.k.a Pat the Manager) sued the artist for breach of contract. Now, Chance has responded, seeking to dismiss the majority of the claims made by his former associate while filing a complaint of his own.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the rapper, born Chancelor Bennett, filed the countersuit in an Illinois court on February 19, alleging 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."
The suit alleges that Corcoran used Bennett's name to promote his own wine company (No Fine Print) and record label (Nice Work, f.k.a. Haight Brand). Regarding the former, in which Bennett is not involved, the suit claims that Corcoran suggested to touring giant Live Nation that the 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 agreed to buy wine from No Fine Print, and Bennett subsequently announced a tour, though the suit claims the artist was unaware of the deal at the time, noting, "Mr. Corcoran's conduct violated his fiduciary duties to Mr. Bennett."
Bennett also claims in the suit that Corcoran "[botched]...the exclusive presale of vinyl and CD copies" of 2012's 10 Day, 2013's Acid Rap, 2016's Coloring Book and the then-unreleased The Big Day, claiming he "did not secure a single copy" of the aforementioned projects before launching pre-orders.
The suit reads that the inability to fill orders "created a bottleneck under which any customer with vinyl as part of his or her order did not receive any part of the order," giving the artist "no choice but to issue refunds and provide free merchandise, all at a cost to Mr. Bennett of more than $1 million."
Pitchfork reports that in Corcoran's lawsuit, he claims the vinyl releases were planned by both himself and Bennett, only to have said plan "suddenly halted at the last minute after [Bennett's brother] 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]."
Further claims made by Bennett against Corcoran include "[inserting] his own company into the co-producer role" of a potential film project with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, [extorting] kickbacks from merchandise vendors by threatening that Mr. Bennett's businesses would not hire the vendor."
Bennett is suing Corcoran for breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and breach of contract. For each count, Chance is seeking at least $1 million in damages.
Corcoran and Pat the Manager LLC shared the following statement with Pitchfork on Bennett's countersuit:
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.
Corcoran, who was fired by the Bennett family on April 27, 2020, first sued the artist for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violation of the Illinois Sales Representative Act." It was also alleged that Bennett "refused to pay Corcoran the amounts Corcoran is fairly owed under the parties' long-standing agreement and well-settled course of conduct," though a statement shared with Pitchfork by Bennett's lawyers says otherwise:
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," Bennett's attorneys said in a statement to the Tribune. "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.