R&B artist sued by hip-hop group for failing to appear at Mardi Gras show

By Eliza Walker | Nov 20, 2013

Robert B. Evans

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans-based R&B and hip-hop group 8-9 Boyz filed suit against Atlanta-based R&B artist Lloyd Polite.

8-9 Boyz Entertainment LLC filed suit against Lloyd Polite, Young Goldie Music Inc., Phantom Creative Agency LLC, Donald Albright Jr. and Industry Influence LLC in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The claim states that in October 2012, the 8-9 Boyz were working on a studio album and became interested in obtaining and including “features” of other artists, to both widen the album’s appeal and increase their own name recognition. At an Industry Influence event in New Orleans, the 8-9 Boyz approached Lloyd about working on a feature for their album, and over the next few months, Lloyd and the 8-9 Boyz worked together on Lloyd’s feature.

The resulting feature is a song called “Rock Wit U” (featuring Oldie & Lloyd), which was recorded and released on a limited basis by the 8-9 Boyz in New Orleans. The parties agreed that Lloyd would promote the feature, and participate in promotional appearances.

Obtaining Lloyd’s involvement in the album was a significant step for the 8-9 Boyz, who redirected their marketing plan for the album to leverage Lloyd’s participation, hoping to obtain an increased following and break-through, the suit claims.

With the album ready to be fully released and promoted, the 8-9 Boyz approached Industry about doing a Mardi Gras show with Lloyd, intending to make Lloyd the headlining artist, and have him also perform “Rock Wit U” along with the 8-9 Boyz at the event. Industry agreed, the suit claims, and the 8-9 Boyz assumed responsibility for all expenses associated.

The show was to take place Mardi Gras night in the main room of the House of Blues, and the terms were discussed with Lloyd Parties, who eventually agreed to the offer on Jan. 23, three weeks before Mardi Gras, according to the suit.

The show was earnestly marketed by the 8-9 Boyz and Industry, using a variety of traditional and grassroots channels, and at substantial financial and human resource expenditure, the suit claims.

Mardi Gras day came, and Industry contacted Lloyd Parties to confirm travel and coordinate airport pickups. At that time, they learned some members of the band were at the airport in Atlanta, but no one would board a plane without Lloyd, who was nowhere to be found, the suit claims.

The show was canceled, and without a headliner, the 8-9 Boyz were responsible to refund all purchased tickets, pay the House of Blues staff for the full evening, pay the other bands who had performed and pay all other expenses related to the show, the suit claims.

As a result of Lloyd’s last-minute cancellation, the 8-9 Boyz reputation was allegedly significantly injured, they lost all value in marketing their new album because they could not depend on their relationship with Lloyd and they faced a direct loss of approximately $50,000 related to the House of Blues show, the suit claims.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and detrimental reliance and bad faith. A trial by jury has been requested.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert B. Evans III of Burgos & Evans LLC of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division L Judge Kern A. Reese.

Case no. 2013-08851.

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