Baltimore hip-hop promoter Tracye Stafford wants her money — and she’s not afraid to confront her alleged debtor in the court of public opinion as well as in the courts of judges and juries.
Stafford, whose IKON Entertainment allegedly promoted two concerts for Louisiana rappers Webbie and Lil Boosie for which the men did not perform, took advantage of Webbie’s appearance yesterday morning on popular Baltimore radio station 92Q to ask why he stiffed her.
In a lawsuit originally filed in September Baltimore City Circuit Court but since removed to federal court, Stafford has claimed $1 million in damages for the cost of hyping the shows and harm to her reputation.
“You can’t take people’s money and not show, sweetheart,” Stafford said on the show. “That’s not the business we’re in. We both got to make money, not just you.” (A video of the show is posted on YouTube, with Stafford’s call starting about 80 seconds into the post.)
Webbie, nee Webster Gradney Jr., said while he stole purses as “a little bitty boy…I don’t play with money like that no more.” He also claimed not to even remember meeting Stafford.
When Marc Clarke, host of the station’s Big Phat Morning Show, asked if Webbie would give a free performance to settle the lawsuit — something Stafford said she has offered as a solution to the litigation —Webbie was equivocal.
“I don’t know,” he said. “My price is going up as we speak. I got the #1 song in the country right now.”
“Independent,” which features Lil Boosie and Lil Phat, is currently #2 on Billboard.com’s Hot Rap Tracks.
Attorneys for the rappers and their management company, Trill Entertainment, are now pressing to put the dispute to an arbitrator, not a jury.
BRENDAN KEARNEY, Legal Affairs Writer