ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Artistic temperaments

RkellyR&B singer R. Kelly (left) has hit rapper Jay-Z with a $75 million lawsuit after the collapse of a joint world tour, called “Best of Both Worlds.” Kelly claims that Jay-Z broke up what Kelly modestly described as a “historic and highly anticipated tour.” The break-up came in a bizarre incident at a sold-out New York event:

Kelly cut his set at New York's Madison Square Garden short after he claimed to spot a pair of men brandishing guns in the audience. After a security check confirmed that there were no weapons in the building, Kelly was allegedly pepper-sprayed by a member of Jay-Z's entourage as he tried to reclaim his spot on the stage. Jay-Z carried on without Kelly and then reportedly kicked the singer off the tour.

Kelly says that Jay-Z used “threats and acts of violence”; Jay-Z says that Kelly is a nut job. Said the rapper’s lawyers:

Jay-Z sees that statement [that he saw people brandishing guns] as the equivalent of screaming “fire” in a crowded theater and was unable to continue with someone whose actions could potentially create a dangerous situation.

[Ed. note: Students sometimes forget that it’s only a problem if you falsely cry “Fire!” in a crowded theater.]

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