The significance of maintaining healthy relations between employer and employee extends beyond hours, pay or contractual agreements. A$AP announced Rocky’s former manager (and publicist) filed a lawsuit against the young rapper. The plaintiff claims Rocky cheated him out of $850,000 in commission, and broke their contractual obligations.
Rocky’s then manager, Geno Smith, originally entered into this contract with Rocky in November of 2011. The contract named Geno serving as Rocky’s exclusive and singular manager. This new suit argues Geno provided this service for two years advising and negotiating record and publishing deals, and assisting Rocky’s music production, PR, merchandising, etc.
Music PR: Communication Breakdown
According to Smith, the contract requires A$AP owes 15% of his gross income in addition to a monthly fee for Smith’s diverse services. According to him, since Rocky didn’t provide regular income statements, he surreptitiously withheld these profits from Smith. Because of this, Smith demands a monthly commission pay of over $300k, in addition to another $550k in unpaid fees accrued over miscellaneous deals Smith secured for Rocky.
Put simply, Smith is suing Rocky because this failure to maintain regular communication with Smith caused the manager great economic damage. Rocky denied these allegations on October 2nd, retorting with a counter suit. According to Rocky, because of his rise to fame he required a second manager to lessen Smith’s workload while maintaining his career’s rise.
Geno renegotiated his lawsuit to include this second manager. Adjusted for a two-way managerial split, Rocky claims that Smith received all the payment he deserved as of their 2014 separation. Then A$AP furthered his position, claiming Smith leaked information regarding Rocky’s finances, personal life and business. In light of this break of confidentiality, Rocky now expects a judge to review the case and reject Geno’s lawsuit. If this happens, Geno won’t get a penny back from Rocky.
PR Starts With Your Business Partners, Not the Public
Note the irony. Part of Geno’s responsibility to A$AP Rocky entails PR, yet this entire scandal defines a PR nightmare. Regardless of the conclusion, if Rocky and Geno fostered good communications there would be no court case of problem. If business partners don’t work to keep relations in check, PR relations go into free-fall.