Scanned from my own copy. The contract was just a damn joke..lol
Worse than a ordinary slave contract..
Found this article from 1997.
Check it out..
On Sept. 14, 1996, seven days after gangsta rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur was cut down in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip, his mother, Afeni Shakur, 50, went back to the family home in Stone Mountain, Ga., to sort through her son's belongings, including the now-infamous three-page handwritten contract he'd signed from prison with Death Row Records' CEO, Marion ''Suge'' Knight, almost 12 months earlier.
Even in her grief, Afeni, a former Black Panther activist, was angry as hell. The contract locked Tupac into a Faustian deal with Knight, who agreed to put up Tupac's bail money in exchange for his signature on the three-album, $3.5 million-plus contract. Where were all the advances and royalties the contract promised?
Moreover, how could her son produce three CDs in the last year of his life, sell reportedly more than $60 million worth of records — enough to make him one of the top-selling domestic artists — yet still wind up an alleged several million dollars in debt to Death Row?
Singers, among all the various species of celebrity, seem to have a peculiar affinity for financial calamity. Performers as diverse as Tom Petty, Hammer, TLC, Meat Loaf, and Wayne Newton were all set for life, only to later declare bankruptcy. But Tupac's postmortem financial saga, which has sprouted a handful of lawsuits, overshadows them all.
Because Tupac Shakur died intestate (without a will), his mother had to file court papers establishing herself as the administrator of his estate and the sole living heir. While he was alive, Tupac supported Afeni with more than $16,000 a month. Now she is concerned about protecting her son's memory as well as her own future.
Soon after Tupac's bizarre, and so far unsolved, murder, Afeni called a lawyer she trusted, New York trial attorney Richard Fischbein. Years earlier, he had advised her when she represented herself and won acquittal on 156 counts related to blowing up police stations and other public buildings in the '70s.
Fischbein flew out to Los Angeles. He found that the rapper, who died at 25, had barely anything to show for his chart-topping career. No mutual funds. No IRA. No real estate. Tupac didn't even own his Woodland Hills, Calif., home. There was only a five-figure life insurance policy (the beneficiary was his half sister, Sekyiwa), two cars, and a single checking account that contained less than $105,000. Court fees and taxes would consume that quickly. The situation was so bad that when a young woman named Jacquelyn McNealey, paralyzed by a stray bullet during a Tupac concert in Arkansas, sued Tupac and asked for $16.6 million in damages, no one showed up in court to defend the estate.
Death Row has contended that it was Tupac's own profligate spending that left him so broke. There may be more than an element of truth to this. For example, Tupac spent walletloads of money on a lifestyle that led him into trouble, and lots more on defense attorneys to fend it off. Even at his death, he was out on bail, paying a criminal-law firm to appeal his 18-month-to-four-and-a-half-year prison sentence for sexual misconduct against a woman in a New York City hotel room. Furthermore, Death Row sources have reportedly said that the label advanced large sums of cash to Tupac for everything from recording and video costs to cars and furniture.
Still, it seems unlikely that a performer who is entitled to 18 percent royalties on $70 million in sales of his first Death Row album, All Eyez on Me, would be driven to insolvency by attorney fees and high living expenses. In a lawsuit filed in April against Death Row, Knight, and Death Row attorney David Kenner, Afeni — seeking $150 million in damages — claims that $50 million of Tupac's income was improperly diverted. Death Row was a criminal enterprise, Afeni charges in her lawsuit, that kept her son under complete financial control as it stealthily wove a conspiracy to rip him off. Death Row, Knight, and Kenner have not yet filed an answer to the complaint. None of the defendants responded to requests for comment.
According to the complaint, as of September 1995, Tupac's lawyer was defendant Kenner. The suit contends that Kenner not only failed to protect Tupac's interests but actually collaborated with Knight to milk cash from Tupac's royalty accounts with faked expense claims. It's regarded as an industry norm for record companies to pay a singer's recording costs as well as expenses like security or limos, then deduct it from the artist's earnings. But Afeni's complaint claims that many of the expenses billed to her son's account were improper. For instance, allegedly Tupac was charged $23,857 for repairs to a Porsche automobile; while Suge Knight owned a Porsche, Tupac did not. Or this: allegedly Tupac was charged more than $120,000 in rental costs for a Malibu home that was actually occupied by Kenner. The Death Row attorney has reportedly denied any conflict of interest, insisting that Tupac was represented by another attorney. Death Row reportedly has denied mishandling Tupac's account.
Afeni's lawsuit also alleges that Tupac was charged $2,700 for another Death Row performer's child-support payment. The suit further alleges that in February 1996, Tupac was billed $115,507 for jewelry purchased from a business owned by a personal friend of Knight's accountant. According to the suit, Knight claimed the jewelry was his gift to Tupac but the CEO never paid the bill. (Tupac's estate is now being sued by the jeweler.)
It's unlikely Tupac knew what he was or wasn't being billed for. "He was not stupid," says Alan Light, former editor in chief of Vibe magazine, "but he was very young. In terms of day-to-day life, artists [like Tupac] are living in a certain sort of luxury, and often are not aware they are paying for [it]."
The lawsuit alleges that when Tupac did ask his friend Suge Knight about money, he never received a satisfactory answer. If that's true, it's not shocking, since the financial blind were leading the financial blind. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Death Row's bank accounts in Beverly Hills were regularly overdrawn. The FBI and the IRS are reportedly sifting the company's records, looking for evidence of money laundering and drug trafficking. Knight reportedly has denied that Death Row has any connection to criminal activities.
Confronted with what appeared to be a morass of shady dealings, Afeni and attorney Fischbein used hardball tactics to track down and recover a surprising amount of cash. The result? Ten months after the rapper's death, his estate is now worth $15-25 million. Tupac died broke, but it may have had less to do with overspending or the alleged misappropriations than with his never trying very hard to collect the millions owed him.
Initially, Afeni and Fischbein didn't have much luck. According to Fischbein, they scheduled a 10 p.m. meeting with Knight at the record company offices in L.A. soon after Tupac's death. They wanted to discuss 152 unreleased cuts by Tupac that Death Row still had, as well as that alleged multi-million dollar debt. Fischbein regarded the handwritten contract as "toilet paper" and the debt figure as worthless. Fischbein says they waited almost an hour that night, then gave up on meeting with Knight.
Switching targets, Afeni and Fischbein decided to squeeze Interscope Records, the exclusive distributor for Death Row and other hot young labels. Interscope was rushing to release Shakur's posthumous albumThe Don Killuminati/The 7 Day Theory and cash in on his death. (The album even contained allusions to Tupac's premature demise.) Fischbein and Afeni threatened to enjoin the album from being released unless the estate received more favorable royalty terms. Interscope agreed to pay the estate a no-strings advance of $3 million and increased Tupac's take on the album from 18 to 20 percent. His royalty rate for his first three Interscope albums also was upgraded from 12 to 18 percent, an adjustment that yielded $6 million.
Meanwhile, Fischbein has moved in the courts to guard Tupac's creative legacy from would-be exploiters. He's enjoined two record labels from releasing tribute albums. "We're extremely aggressive stopping unauthorized stuff," he says. "We've even had people looking on the Internet, to track down rumors of bootlegged songs and merchandise." One of the estate's biggest coups: a settlement in its December suit against Death Row and two merchandising companies for selling unauthorized Tupac hats and sweatshirts. Ka-chinggg. Another $131,000 in the estate's coffers.
Afeni is also looking out for herself and her extended family. In November, the probate court granted Afeni personal living expenses of $16,340 a month, including $1,200 a month in tuition for grandchildren and $2,000 a month in security for herself, Tupac's half sister, his two little nieces, two cousins, an aunt, and two uncles.
Tupac Shakur's estate may never match the afterlife urn of Elvis Presley — two decades after the King's exit his estate still rakes in tens of millions of dollars a year — but it could make the rapper a marketing immortal. Fischbein, fast emerging as the keeper of the shrine, has just completed a deal for sale of Tupac merchandise worth up to $500,000 and is negotiating for a studio-scale biopic. The music, which remains the lost trove in Tupac's legacy, will stay in unreleased limbo until Afeni's courtroom showdown with Death Row is resolved.
In death as in life, Tupac seems likely to get rich, then blow it again. When no one showed up to defend Tupac's estate in the Arkansas lawsuit filed by McNealey, the judge granted the injured plaintiff full damages — $16.6 million. The estate retained Bill Clinton's former law firm Wright, Lindsey & Jennings to challenge the decision, but a judge denied the motion. The estate plans to explore the possibility of an appeal.
And that's not the only way the estate stands to go bust. From a San Luis Obispo, Calif., jail cell where he is serving a nine-year state term for violating probation on an assault charge, Suge Knight is claiming a 20 percent management fee on the deceased rapper's earnings since September 1995. And Death Row has filed a claim for more than $7 million. Also looming is the trial scheduled to begin Aug. 4 in Los Angeles in which Bill Garland, a truck driver and former Black Panther, will claim that as Tupac's father he is entitled to half of the estate. Evidence submitted to the court shows that DNA testing of blood taken from Tupac at his autopsy indicated a 99.97 percent probability that Garland is indeed Tupac's biological sire. Afeni has since conceded Garland's paternity claim but denies that he meets California's requirements for parental inheritance. (Under California law, a parent must show that he acknowledged the child and provided support or care.) Garland's attorneys insist the case isn't a grab for big money, just Garland's bid to establish the truth about his relationship with Afeni in the '70s and the birth of their son the rap star.
It's exactly the kind of painful material, full of rage and twisted passion, that Tupac Shakur would have turned into a No. 1 song.