You might recall that last year Chance The Rapper (aka Chancelor Bennett) was sued by his long-time manager. The blow-up lawsuit implicated the rapper in the lackluster response to his debut album The Big Day as well as allegedly owing millions in unpaid commissions. Now, Chance is hitting back with an explosive suit of his own.
In a statement to Highsnobiety, Chance The Rapper's lawyers explained the need for the lawsuit against the rapper's former manager, Pat Corcoran. "Mr. Corcoran has been paid in full under his management services contract with Mr. Bennett. Yet he chose to file a groundless and insulting lawsuit that ignores his own improper self-dealing and incompetence. Mr. Bennett has moved to dismiss the majority of that meritless lawsuit, and filed his own lawsuit to remedy the harm that Mr. Corcoran caused through his breaches of duty. Mr. Bennett trusts the legal system to reveal the truth of the parties’ relationship in due course."
According to a claim filed by Chance, the rapper accuses his “disgruntled former manager” of having “repeatedly breached his fiduciary responsibilities to Mr. Bennett by trading on Mr. Bennett’s good name for his own benefit." He's also slipped in a defense of The Big Day.
In his lawsuit, Corcoran, widely known in the industry as Pat the Manager, notably criticized Chance’s 2019 album, The Big Day. Corcoran called it “a freestyle-driven product of sub-par quality” and “a complete deviation from the meticulous writing process that brought Bennett fame for his wordplay and wit” and cited multiple instances of Chance ignoring Corcoran’s management advice, which ultimately led to his firing.
In his own suit, Chance is hitting back claiming “the album received many favorable reviews” and goes on to downplay much of Corcoran's influence on his career — the manager is widely credited with Chance’s early independent success. “Shockingly, Mr. Corcoran never created a marketing plan for the album,” claims the Chance suit. Even so, the suit goes on to humblebrag: "Notwithstanding all these challenges, The Big Day was released successfully on July 26, 2019. It debuted at No.2 on the Billboard 200, and Mr. Bennett was the first artist to achieve that feat without a recording, distribution, or publishing deal.”
The lawsuit tells a very different story of the lukewarm reception the album really got and is even further removed from what Corcoran claims in his own suit. In part, the legal battle almost looks like a debate over the quality of The Big Day.
Chance The Rapper is also claiming his team does not owe Corcoran outstanding fees. Corcoran’s initial suit claimed Chance owed him over $3 million in missed commissions, which were unpaid after his firing in April 2020. Chance is suing for over $3 million in response, citing breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and breach of contract.
Corcoran’s legal team countered the new filings in a statement to Pitchfork. “The defendants have elected to attack Mr. Corcoran’s character and rewrite history,” the statement reads. “The aspersions cast by the Chance camp are offensive and do not reflect the reality of the relationship that Mr. Corcoran and Mr. Bennett developed over many years of collaboration.” Corcoran’s team added, “Mr. Corcoran looks forward to presenting his claims and airing out the defendants’ baseless accusations in court.”