x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Snoop Dogg being sued over Abu Dhabi concert conflict

US rapper Snoop Dogg is being sued for his alleged failure to pay a Lebanese promoter who claims he made the artist's Abu Dhabi concert possible.

The Young, Wild and Free rapper appeared at Yas Arena on May 6 last year in a concert organised by Flash Entertainment and attended by thousands of people.
The Young, Wild and Free rapper appeared at Yas Arena on May 6 last year in a concert organised by Flash Entertainment and attended by thousands of people.

DUBAI // Superstar rapper Snoop Dogg is being sued in the United States over claims he defrauded the Lebanese promoter who brought him to Abu Dhabi last year.

The Young, Wild and Free rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, appeared at Yas Arena on May 6 last year in a concert organised by Flash Entertainment and attended by thousands of people.

Roger Kalaouz of Roger Kalaouz and Associates (RKA) claims he made Snoop's appearance in the UAE possible but did not receive his pre-negotiated payment for doing so.

"RKA entered into negotiations with concert promoters in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other countries in the region to schedule concerts in the Middle East," the company said in its claim, filed at a US District Court in California on April 26.

The claim says RKA's efforts on Snoop's behalf made the concert possible but "Snoop failed and refused to pay RKA the consulting fees it was entitled to".

Todd Wulffson, the lawyer representing RKA, told The National the court has yet to receive a response from Snoop Dogg and his lawyers.

"Usually after the serving of the notice a response has to be filed to court within 20 days," he said. "We are expecting a response by next week, as we have granted them two extra weeks to get their response to the court ready."

According to Mr Wulffson, both sides will argue the merits of the case before it is decided if the case will move forward.

Flash Entertainment said they were aware of a lawsuit being filed concerning the Beirut concert, but not the Abu Dhabi performance. They added that they were not involved in any way.

Apart from suing Snoop personally, RKA is also suing his company Doggy Style Music and its president Ted Chung.

Mr Kalaouz, who organised Snoop's first Middle East concert in Beirut in 2009, said he also incurred expenses promoting the latest Lebanese concert. "RKA performed all of its obligations under the agreement and incurred out-of-pocket expenses in excess of $800,000 directly related to promoting and arranging the concert," the claim read.

RKA also says Snoop "severely damaged" its reputation by being videotaped "conspicuously smoking" marijuana in a Beirut bar and failed to pay a fee when it organised his collaboration with Lebanese superstar Haifa Wehbe and Egyptian artist Tamer Hosny on two records.

All in all, Mr Kalaouz is seeking damages for breach of contract, fraud, concealment, conspiracy and false promise, unfair competition, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

Snoop Dogg rose to fame after he was taken under the wing of producer Dr Dre. His debut album, 1992's Doggystyle, topped the Billboard Hot 100. The rapper has gone on to release another 10 studio albums, recorded E! reality TV series, Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, and has made multiple cameo appearances on the silver screen.

While his entertainment career has enjoyed an upwards trajectory, his personal life has involved multiple arrests for a variety of misdemeanours and he was once banned from re-entering the United Kingdom and Australia after legal troubles there.

amustafa@thenational.ae