While the Wu-Tang Clan battles a copyright infringement lawsuit over a sample on “People Say” and attempt to retrieve their one-of-a-kind album from the government, the esteemed collective now have another day in court to juggle. In documents obtained by VIBE, longtime producer Selwyn Bougard filed a lawsuit on Apr. 17 at the New York County Clerk office against Clan member/co-architect RZA (born Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) and his brother, Mitchell Diggs, for unpaid royalties.
According to legal documents, Bougard (now known as El-Divine Amir Bey), was recruited by RZA and Wu-Tang Productions in 1993 or 1994. Bey signed a Production and Publishing Agreement without seeking legal counsel but found a breach made on the Diggs brothers’ end that may amount to an “excess of $500,000” in compensatory and punitive damages.
Within the documents, Bey’s productions and co-written songs were completely owned by the Diggs Family Music, Inc., but the entity was obligated to pay him “50 percent of mechanical royalties, 50 percent of synchronization income, and 50 percent of other income.” Bey claims he’s yet to receive these payments. The Ohio native also believes his royalties have been suppressed despite the Diggs Family receiving publishing notes “and other income sources” without compensating him.
Bey (also known as 4th Disciple) believes his work continues to get “exploited” in the form of “digital downloads” to “streaming and other advertising” from commercials to various broadcasts. Bey’s work can be heard on songs from the group’s debut album Enter The 36 Chambers (“The Mystery of Chess Boxing”), “Impossible, “The City,” and “Better Tomorrow” on Wu-Tang Forever, and he worked with Wu-Tang Clan affiliated groups like Sunz of Man and Killarmy. His work spanned the course of the 90s into the late aughts.
Read the court documents below.