New Orleans rapper Turk settles lawsuit against record labels

Tab Virgil, a rapper better known as Turk, has settled his lawsuit against Cash Money Records and Money Mack Music. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Turk, one of the original Hot Boys with Lil Wayne, Juvenile and B.G., sued the labels for $1.3 million in February.

He claimed he was never paid for any of the music — roughly 80 songs — that he played a part in creating and recording as a solo artist and as part of the Hot Boys, who sold more than 2 million albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s with hits such as “We on Fire” and “I Need a Hot Girl.”

The lawsuit alleged the labels never registered 34 songs Virgil wrote or co-wrote with the U.S. Copyright Office — including his entire solo album “Young & Thuggin’ ” — preventing him from receiving royalty payments.

The lawsuit sought to compel the New Orleans-based labels to provide an accounting of every song Virgil had a hand in writing.

Attorneys for Cash Money and Money Mack never filed any response, even after being given a 30-day extension.

In May, it appeared Virgil had won the suit by default, but late last month, he asked U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt to dismiss the suit, saying the two parties had reached an amicable settlement.

The suit was dismissed at Virgil’s request on June 30, with both sides paying their own legal costs and fees.

Patrick Costello, Virgil’s attorney, declined to comment.

Virgil, who now lives in Tennessee, signed with Cash Money, run by brothers Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams, in 1998.

“I was a teenager fresh out the projects,” he told allhiphop.com in February.

In an interview with the website, Virgil said that while he was taken care of when he was part of the Hot Boys, he never saw any royalty money.

When it came to business, Virgil told the website, “There are things that we didn’t know coming into the game as youngsters. Throughout the years of reading, researching and seeing the numbers are not adding up, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, something’s going on.’ ”

Virgil said the label did not help him when he got out of prison three years ago after shooting and injuring a SWAT team deputy in 2004 in Memphis, Tennessee. He said he filed the suit only as a last resort.

Earlier this week, Lil Wayne announced that he, Turk and Juvenile will perform as the Hot Boys as part of the Lil’ Weezyana Fest at Champions Square on Aug. 28.

The group’s fourth member, B.G., is now serving a prison sentence, but Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh will perform, as well.

Lil Wayne’s Young Money Records has a $51 million breach of contract lawsuit pending against Cash Money.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.

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