Chance the Rapper Sued by Former Manager for $3 Million in Commission

Pat Corcoran (a.k.a. Pat the Manager) also has words for the artist's "lackluster" album 'The Big Day'

Photo: Matt Forsythe

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Dec 4, 2020

Chance the Rapper's former manager Pat Corcoran (a.k.a Pat the Manager) has sued the Chicago artist for breach of contract, alleging that the rapper ignored his professional advice, blamed him for the tepid response to last year's The Big Day and refused to pay commissions that are owed after firing him this past April.

A report from Complete Music Update points to a lawsuit filed in an Illinois court on November 30, which also alleges [via Pitchfork] that Corcoran is owed "over $2.5 million of unreimbursed expenses supporting and promoting [Chance]'s career."

The lawsuit shows that Corcoran and the artist born Chancelor Bennett began working together in May 2012 upon agreeing they "could profit from the music industry independently...and set out to transform Bennett's music into a global brand."

Corcoran and his lawyers claim that he and Bennett entered an oral agreement that would pay Corcoran 15 percent of net profits from merchandise, tours and concerts, mixtape and album streams and sales, branding deals and endorsements, and film and TV ventures. 

The lawsuit points out how Corcoran proved instrumental in Bennett's meteoric rise, with the manager alleging he is owed over $3 million USD in commissions for streaming and sales of 10 DayAcid Rap, and The Big Day, proceeds from Live Nation tour commitments, and commissions related to Bennett's involvement with Netflix rap reality show Rhythm + Flow.

Per the suit, the relationship between Corcoran and Bennett began to sour upon the artist announcing The Big Day without ever consulting or informing management.

"Given the significant amount of work, care, and attention needed to produce an album, Corcoran expressed serious concern with the projected release date Bennett had unilaterally announced for the album," the suit reads. "Corcoran knew that in view of the commitments Bennett had in early 2019 — including his own wedding — it was likely there was not enough time for the creative process that was involved in releasing an album, and Corcoran advised Bennett in that regard."

The lawsuit alleges that Corcoran "opposed announcing the release of any album before the recording or writing process even began, let alone was substantially completed," and also highlights how recording sessions for The Big Day were purportedly "compromised by unproductive and undisciplined studio sessions."

Corcoran ultimately calls The Big Day a "freestyle-driven product of sub-part quality" that was "panned by many influential critics" — not to mention listeners themselves. He claims this was evidenced by the postponement and eventual cancellation of a tour behind the album.

The former manager argues that these outcomes were the result of Bennett ignoring his advice, in favour of having father and brother, Ken and Taylor Bennett, manage his business affairs. The lawsuit alleges that "Bennett ultimately blamed Corcoran for the judgment rendered by his fan base rather than accept that his own lack of dedication had doomed the project."

Corcoran alleges that Bennett ignored his advice to step back from the public eye and regroup, instead agreeing to various media appearances booked by his father and brother which "served only to further exacerbate the failure of The Big Day."

Corcoran was fired by the Bennett family on April 27. He is suing for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violation of the Illinois Sales Representative Act. Corcoran is also seeking an "industry standard" sunset clause, which would earn him commissions for three additional years.

The lawsuit concludes, "Despite months of outreach and efforts at reconciliation, Bennett has refused to pay Corcoran the amounts Corcoran is fairly owed under the parties' long-standing agreement and well-settled course of conduct."

Chance the Rapper was due to host a Punk'd reboot for Quibi this year, until the streaming service shut down after six months of operation. More recently, he joined Justin Bieber on a new single and supported Kanye West's presidential aspirations.

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