Big Pun’s record label and his mentor Fat Joe fleeced at least $2 million out of the cash cow rapper.
That’s according to music royalty expert Ali Adawiya, who testified on behalf of Pun’s widow Liza Rios in her breach of contract lawsuit against Joey Crack and music publisher Jelly’s Jams. Rios sued over her claims that Fat Joe reneged on a deal to split Pun’s music profits, and wants his back royalties, advances and money from using his songs on TV and in movies.
Adawiya, who has provided expert testimony on cases involving high profile stars like Cher, John Wayne and Notorious BIG, said Loud Records – now Sony Music – and Fat Joe shorted Big Pun by at least $2 million, but because not all of the financial paperwork had been submitted, it could be much more.
“Based on information provided and my professional industry knowledge, I have determined that Big Pun has been underpaid by at least $2,076,093,” Adawiya wrote in court docs obtained by BOSSIP.
Adawiya said Big Pun is owed $1.1 million in back royalties on his four albums, including $666,139 for his 1998 debut album “Capital Punishment,” which made him the first Latino rapper to go platinum.
Pun’s music publisher, Jelly’s Jams, also repeatedly charged Pun hundreds of thousands of dollars, when in fact it was earning that amount and more from Pun’s advance money, the expert said.
Pun was never paid nearly $80,000 from having his songs in the Grand Theft Auto video game, movies like “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” and TV shows like “Moesha,” and HBO’s “Ballers,” according to Adawiya.
Also missing is $129,542 in performance income, $33,437 in licensing profits, $277,218 in advances and $250,000 from appearing as a featured artist on other rapper’s songs. Adawiya said Big Pun made at least another $250,000 that’s unaccounted for from sites like Google, Sony Music Digital and Amazon Prime.
The estate for the “Still Not A Player” rapper is owed $200,000 in interest alone, Adawiya said.
The Bronx-bred rapper died of heart failure in 2000 at the height of his fame, leaving behind Rios, and their kids.