Cardi B is experiencing a meteoric rise to fame. You may recognize her from her stint on Love & Hip Hop back in 2017, where she was known for being a “regula degula schmegula girl from the Bronx” and speaking her mind both on camera and on social media. Since her time on the show, the 25-year-old rapper has experienced major success. She was nominated for two Grammys, will be touring with Bruno Mars at the end of the summer, and released her first album, Invasion of Privacy, and has broken records on the Billboard charts. It’s safe to say that everyone wants a piece of Cardi…including her former manager.
Her manager, whose real name is Klenord Raphael but goes by Shaft, is claiming that he discovered Cardi B and took her from Instagram personality to superstar but that, after all of his hard work, he didn’t see the fruits of his labor. He says that he “catapulted [Cardi B] from exotic dancer and social media presence to music icon” in 2015 and that his involvement in her career “orchestrated Cardi B’s rise to become the biggest music sensation on the planet.”
Shaft insists that, without him, Cardi’s time on Love & Hip Hop and her number one megahit “Bodak Yellow” simply would never have happened. The argument is that Shaft orchestrated her appearance on Love & Hip Hop, which lead to the hit single, which lead to a major record deal, which lead to features on songs with major artists. (By the way, have you seen the Maroon 5 Girls Like Youmusic video with all those amazing women in it? We at PROOF love it!)
But that’s not all he is claiming. He also claims that she defamed him when she told people close to her, including her fiancé, Migos rapper Offset, that he was the one who robbed her of time and money. He cites a heated text exchange that he had with Offset where he accused him of “taking her sh*t.” He believes that, as a result of this defamation, Cardi was persuaded to leave his management and instead work with Quality Control Management, who manages her fiancé and his group Migos.
In a statement to the press, Shaft’s rep said, “While he is proud of their successful collaborations as she evolved from Instagram influencer to music megastar, Shaft is disappointed by her actions to freeze him out of her career, which are detailed in the complaint.”
Shaft is seeking damages of $10 million from Cardi B and is also seeking $10 million in damages from Quality Control for interfering with his management deal.
Though there are big names and made-for-tv claims, this matter is a pretty ordinary dispute and will come down to who has the facts on their side. Does seem to us that Shaft is looking for a payout he might not be wholly entitled to. And while it doesn’t feel good to watch your alleged discovery reaching super stardom, that, in and of itself does not make for a winning lawsuit. So, we will see what facts unfold, what the nature of relationship among all of these parties–Shaft, Cardi B and Quality Control–really is and then make some more solid predictions on liability. Until then, a big shout out of congratulations to Cardi B, who is expecting her first child with Offset.