by Elke Mermis
UPDATE, Friday February 25, at 2:06 p.m.: Travis O'Guin, CEO, president and co-founder of Strange Music, has this to say about the lawsuit: "We obviously dispute these accusations and view this as a frivolous lawsuit, and we will deal with this very aggressively."
Klosed Kustody, a local-music label based out of Topeka, is suing the king of Kansas City hip-hop, Tech N9ne, and his music label, Strange Music. Klosed Kustody (or Klosed Custody, as the label is known on its Facebook page) is suing on behalf of its act Brandon Evans (who goes by "Bizzy"), who allegedly was featured in Tech's "Sex on the Beat" -- both the mixtape track and the video -- and Collabos: The Gates Mixed Plate, without any credit to Klosed Kustody. (According to the lawsuit, Strange Music also encouraged Bizzy to stop communication with his original label and to skimp on the management percentage that Klosed Kustody was due.)
Klosed Kustody claims that "introducing competing Evans products into the stream of commerce ... diluted [Klosed Kustody's] product." The thing is, I can't find Bizzy's name on The Gates Mixed Plate mixtape anywhere. Bizzy's front and center on "Sex on the Beat," though.
Tech is well-known in Kansas City for extending a hand to local artists and trying to usher them into the spotlight. (Just think about his show a month ago, at which he filled out the lineup with a local metal band Hammerlord, DJ FSTZ, and local MC Dutch Newman, who isn't signed to his label.) Encouraging a local artist -- who Tech's been known to support -- to turn on his label seems a little, well, strange -- especially when Klosed Kustody can't get its LLC's spelling straightened out. Seems a little fishy, doesn't it?
What do you think?